The Medford City Council on Thursday overcame a few misgivings about not including the public in the discussion of a strategic plan that will guide the city's financial and planning decisions for the next six years.
After some discussion, the council unanimously approved a 23-page plan that generally revolves around a theme of providing a safe community and encouraging a robust local economy.
"We've had zero public input into this process," Councilor Dick Gordon said. "We haven't had it out for a comment period."
City Manager Eric Swanson told Gordon that within the past decade the city undertook an extensive strategic planning process with local citizens.
He said the current strategic plan includes many of the ideas and proposals generated by citizens.
Also, many of the action items in the document — such as repairing riparian areas throughout the city — will require public input as they come up.
Gordon said he was satisfied that there had been some public input into the document, with more to come.
Councilor Chris Corcoran said he also worried about not having enough public input and expressed concern that the strategic plan didn't mention ways to encourage tourism.
After some discussion, the council agreed to amend the plan to include tourism.
Councilor Bob Strosser said the plan was a dynamic document that wasn't cast in stone and would be subject to change over time.
Councilor Al Densmore said he would likely have additional ideas that he would like to include in the plan later.
The plan's first priority is to ensure a safe community by protecting people, property and the environment.
The second priority is to continue to provide public education about law enforcement, gang activities, drug problems and emergency preparedness.
To view the entire strategic plan, see www.mailtribune.com/strategicplan.pdf. Refer to pages 14-17.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email email@example.com.