05-08-2009, 04:02 PM #1
Walton County Down the Road - Walton County Vision Plan
EDIT - link to online Suvey (6 questions) - please take a moment and let Walton County know what you think:
Anyone know anything about this committee or who is on it?
Community input could steer ‘Walton County Down the Road'
May 7, 2009 - 10:53 AM
The future of any city in these economic times is cause for kitchen table conversation. Some may question how roads and schools will remain in good condition with shrinking tax revenue. Others may be concerned with the quality of life that community recreation provides.
Although these questions have been considered by city and county planners for decades, it’s now a topic of interest for future decades with a new Walton County committee focused on visioning for the future.
Looking forward and developing a comprehensive plan for Walton’s future will take time, according to Jason Bryan, senior planner for Walton County.
“The challenge is getting everyone to contribute ideas for how they believe the county should be in the next 10 or 20 years,” Bryan said.
Rising to meet that challenge, 15 people have committed to form Walton County Down the Road. This committee of volunteers will work to implement goals and create a strategic plan for the next 10-20 years for the county.
After two initial meetings, the committee decided on several topics to be included in town hall meetings.
•Transportation and Public Safety
•Environmental issues and Recreation
•Culture, Arts and Historical Preservation
•Citizen Services and Communication
•Development, Land Use and Utilities
The first public town hall meeting is scheduled for June 18 at the Freeport Community Center at 6 p.m.
“With three distinct economic structures within Walton County - agricultural, industrial and tourism - it’s important for citizens to come to the meetings,” Bryan said. “Each area needs to be considered to maintain a balanced community.”
That balance can be affected by many variables, according to Bryan.
“When people move here from other areas, bringing with them ideas of how their former home city was, it can cause discontent,” he said. “Bringing everyone together to share ideas, have input and establish goals can bridge differences.”
Gathering information prior to the first meeting is first on the agenda.
“Visioning created a survey,” said Bryan. “It’s available online. We hope to get every one interested in the future of Walton County to fill these out.”
The survey is available at http://www.co.walton.fl.us/forms.aspx?fid=63.
The survey includes five questions with space to provide essay style responses.
“We’re looking for as much input as possible,” he said. “This is a long term initiative. We want to see what people want to change, or not to change, concerning Walton County now and in the future.”
Suggestions and comments can also be sent to email@example.com.
With data from the surveys and public input during the town hall meetings the committee members say they will develop programs and policies to guide them in the right direction.
“It’s one thing for us to get responses now and have good turn out for the initial meetings,” Bryan said. “We, the committee, want to have people willing to have a stake in the county’s future. It’s their home, their community and they should stay with us to see the change, the direction and help us accomplish our goals. They can keep us accountable and on track if they are in this for the long term.”
With support from the public Bryan believes a comprehensive plan could be in place within the year.
“We will hold between six and eight meetings over the next several months,” he said. “After those initial meetings, the committee will put together a strategic plan. Once that is in order there will be a few more meetings to lay down the comprehensive plan.”
That plan will include the list of things Walton County Down the Road want to accomplish, Bryan said.
The city of Destin is well into its visioning process.
On Mon, May 4 a comprehensive plan was laid out for Destin which the Destin City Council hopes to have accomplished by 2019.
“Destin is where we want to be in the next year,” Bryan said.
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05-08-2009, 04:05 PM #2
05-08-2009, 04:50 PM #3
wrobert, please tell us more about these visioning meetings going on for 4 years. Who is holding them? Where are they being held? Thanks.Susan Horn
05-08-2009, 07:23 PM #4
I have been to a couple of them several years ago, is it David Goescth (sp?) from the college that was the moderator, if I am remembering correctly, they were being run by the Chamber and the EDC, and the powers that be were meeting with another guy/consultant repeatedly about their vision for Walton County back when Rosier was still a commissioner working on something along the same lines.
All I remember is what two times I attended, little participation from the public.
Not to be rude, but it seems like we have planning groups out the wazoo, yet I never hear of them DOING anything besides meeting and "visioning." I know that meetings etc. are part of the process, but results should be too.
Is there a way to combine/streamline some of these groups (or get some results)? My guess is that there is low public participation because people are busy with one of the many other groups.
And I submit that any publicly funded department/group who only produces ideas/studies might be a good place to start w/ budget cuts.
Last edited by scooterbug44; 05-11-2009 at 10:51 AM.
05-11-2009, 09:00 PM #6
I attended several of these visioning meetings a few years ago. As I recall they were being coordinated by the Chamber; there were a lot of people involved; but, I never saw any results of anything. and the woman who was the head of the chamber then, is no longer with the chamber.
After all the meetings, there were no action items or list of those responsible for getting items accomplished--at least not that I ever saw.
Agree with with Scooterbug, the meetings are a waste of time if there is no followup.A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
05-12-2009, 08:15 AM #8
I attended some of those Chamber visioning meetings too -- Vision 2020 -- and never saw anything happen out of that. Very disheartening to put in so much time and effort to contribute, and have the leadership not lead, not even follow the lead of the followers!
I think Walton County Down the Road is a Walton County thing, not a Chamber thing; I also think that with Down the Road, Commissioner Comander is working to pull together all these different groups and get something more coherent/cohesive/unified going.
I agree it seems there have been lots of visions and nothing done to accomplish them, and I don't know why. For what it's worth, all the vision docs I've seen for Walton County and the Panhandle, over many years, come up with basically the same picture. Idealist that I am, though, I keep trying in hopes that one of these days, the vision will get some traction.
I suspect that making the vision into 3-D reality requires some serious changes to the way things are done (including Comp Plan/LDC). This county has a history of being change-resistant in lots of ways. Or as I am often reminded by someone wiser than me, you can't turn a battleship on a dime.Susan Horn
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
05-12-2009, 10:52 AM #10
Com. Comander would no doubt appreciate hearing from citizens who want to make sure their contributions to the previous vision work are incorporated. You might contact Jason Bryan at the Planning Department (267.1955). I believe he is the one in charge of this project. He probably will remember the name of this most recent vision document, and can probably tell you how to get a copy of it.Susan Horn
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Use this form to convey YOUR "vision" to Walton County - Walton County, FL - Home Page
More info - Walton County, FL - Home Page - Vision Plan
Commissioner Sara Comander
leads Vision Plan Task Force
Walton County is developing a Vision Plan, and all county citizens are on the committee! A vision plan is a document we, as a community, use to describe our preferred future and to chart our steps toward that future. Your involvement helps to shape our vision plan, in that the core of the plan must be what you and your neighbors jointly identify as shared values and purpose, which translates into qualitative aspects of what our community should look like socially, economically and environmentally in ten to twenty years.
Dr. David Goetsch facilitates
discussion of vision process
Over the next six to eight months, there will be a series of town hall meetings in DeFuniak Springs and Freeport. You are invited to come and speak, give your experiences, and participate in the discussions.
At this time you can provide guidance to the visioning committee by emailing your comments to www.wcvision.co.walton.fl.us and visiting this webpage. See the Calendar of Events to the right to keep up with upcoming meetings regarding the Vision Plan.
1. How can I provide input into this plan? During meetings, in writing, a personal visit with our staff or through the online survey.
2. How long is the vision plan process?
About a year. During this time, we will hold meetings, gather feedback and produce a document that will act as a guide for the future of our community.
3. What will you do with the information I provide?
We will gather and analyze citizen input to develop a long term plan or reference for the various stakeholders to use in making decisions regarding the progress of the County.
The planning group is comprised of several members of the community
including members from the Chamber, TDC, the cities, Commissioner
Comander, and some county staff. Dr. David Goetsh has volunteered to
assist in the process. Both Melinda Wickham and myself are staff for the
If have any more questions or suggestions please give me a call. And
remember to participate in the survey.
Jason Bryan, MPA, AICP
31 Coastal Centre Blvd, suite 100
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
850-267-1955, fax 850-622-9133
05-14-2009, 04:52 PM #13
I spoke to Jason Bryan today. He seems like he really knows his stuff. I asked if the vision program uses other information from previous visioning group, the answer was yes in a sense of comparing results from then to now.
I would encourage everyone to give him feedback and take the survey.
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Vision Plan Meeting Set for September 24, 6:00 p.m.
Walton County’s District 4 Commissioner and Board Chair, Sara Comander, has set the next Vision Plan Meeting for August 20, 6:00 p.m. at the DeFuniak Springs Community Center. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting which will be a discussion on the Walton County’s culture, arts, and historic preservation. This meeting was originally scheduled for August 27 but has been changed to August 20.
Vision Plan Meeting Set for September 24, 6:00 p.m.DeFuniak Springs, FL – Walton County’s District 4 Commissioner and Board Chair, Sara Comander, has set the next Vision Plan Meeting for September 24, 6:00 p.m. at the DeFuniak Springs Community Center. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting where discussions and public input will focus on Walton County’s Citizen’s Services and Communications. The DeFuniak Springs Community Center is located at 361 North 10th Street, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32433.Discussions will focus on Citizen Services & Communication
This town hall meeting follows three others held during the past 60 days. Two others will follow on October 29 and November 19 as the county works to develop a vision plan for Walton County’s future. “Public input at all of these meetings helps to shape the county’s vision plan,” says Walton County Commissioner and Board Chair, Sara Comander. “The core of this plan must be what citizens jointly identify as shared values and purpose, which translates into qualitative aspects of what our community should look like socially, economically and environmentally in ten to twenty years,” she says. “This is why everyone’s input is important at each and every one of these town hall meetings.”
For more information, call the Walton County Planning Division at (850) 267-1955 or log on to www.co.walton.fl.us (go to “Your Government/Projects & Issues/Vision Plan”).
09-25-2009, 02:09 PM #17
The next meeting will be in Freeport Oct. 29, 6pm. It will focused on recreation, the environment, and military relations. please get the word out . If there any questions contact, Jason Bryan 850-267-1955
09-25-2009, 02:20 PM #18
The next meeting will be held in Freeport Oct.29, 6 pm. It will discuss recreation, the environment, and military relations. please try to attend and get the word out.
The last townhall meeting will also be held in Freeport in Nov. It will discuss development, land use, and utilites.
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Vision Plan Meeting Set for November 19, 6:00 p.m.DeFuniak Springs, FL – Walton County’s District 4 Commissioner, Sara Comander, has set the next Vision Plan Meeting for Thursday, November 19, 6:00 p.m. at the DeFuniak Springs Community Center. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting where discussions and public input will focus on the county’s future development, land use and utility needs. The DeFuniak Springs Community Center is located at 361 North Tenth Street, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32433.Discussions will focus on Development, Land Use and Utilities
This town hall meeting follows several others held during the past few months. This is the last meeting in the first series of meetings that will help county leaders to develop a vision plan for Walton County’s future. For more information, call Commissioner Sara Comander’s office at (850) 835-4834 or log on to www.co.walton.fl.us (go to “Your Government/Projects & Issues/Vision Plan”).
11-18-2009, 12:55 PM #20
Has anybody gone to these?
11-18-2009, 09:38 PM #21Leave early and you won't be stuck in traffic.
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11-26-2009, 01:19 AM #22
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Santa Rosa Beach
I remember when they first announced the state mandated comprehensive plan years ago, most people were aprehensive, worried, upset, and packed the courthouse meeting. Irrespective to the many complaints, the plan was going to go on anyway. Many I know feel it practically hopeless to get involved. Frankly, it takes away citizen choice. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, fads and fashions change with the seasons. What looks good today to those who think they know, will not necessarily look good tommorrow. As recession continues, and business struggles in today's economy, a lot of people wonder why they make so many regulations that cost so much money. Many businesses just can't survive it all. Our county and state government should be concerned with the economic health of it's citizens first. As the citizens prosper, so the government prospers! Economic health will come when local and state government relaxes it's expensive regulations, and actually tries to help business succeed!
Walton County, FL - Home Page
Walton County Down the Road visioning update
The public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting to hear an update on the Walton County Down the Road visioning process begun last year.
The first phase of Walton County Down the Road 2009 visioning sessions is complete and the strategic plan has been set. Now, we invite you to attend one of the scheduled meetings for an update on the next phase of the "Walton County Down the Road".
Other sessions will follow as the county works to refine the vision plan and gather additional input for Walton County’s future. Future meetings scheduled are:
· May 18th at the Coastal Branch Library in Santa Rosa Beach at 6:00 p.m.
· May 20th at the Freeport Community Center at 6:00 p.m.
· May 27th at the Walton County Extension Office in DeFuniak Springs at 6:00 p.m.
For more information, call Commissioner Comander’s office at (850) 835-4834 or log on to Walton County, FL - Home Page (go to “Your Government/Projects & Issues/Vision Plan”).
04-27-2010, 01:36 PM #24
First of all, for those unenlightened, doubting Thomases, there is certainly nothing wrong with planning for future growth and events even if it is at times repetative.
The one meeting I attended in this series was well attended and productive questions and suggestions came from those participants.
I will be in attendance at one of the posted meetings if at all possible. The May 18th meeting is presently on our calendar.
My sincere thanks to our visionary Commissioner, Sara Comander, for her efforts in promoting this program. Results from future planning do not occur overnight but they can certainly be instrumental in what direction all types of development takes place.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
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08-04-2010, 12:33 PM #26
There is certainly nothing wrong with the thought behind this program and any effort to bring it to fruition.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
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