Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Envisioning Chariton in 2013

We had a great turnout Tuesday evening at Carpenter's Hall for community potluck and a visioning session that marked the first-year anniversary of Chariton's participation in the Main Street Iowa program. Our friends from Main Street Iowa headquarters in Des Moines --- Michael Wagler, state coordinator (first below), and Darlene Strachan, assistant state coordinator (second below) --- led the program.

Not to obsess about food or anything, but I haven't seen such a lavish display of casserole-filled crock pots in months. Swiss steak to die for, too. And plenty for the vegetarians among us as well. Wish I'd taken a photo.

The goal was to develop a vision of downtown Chariton in 2023. We provided lots of input, but the Main Street Iowa staff now will digest that information to produce the actual vision statement, so that will have to wait.

The process involved working as small teams with questionnaries to develop concise lists of opportunities, challenges, resources and dreams that everyone narrowed down by voting on at the end of the two-hour work session. That session moved remarkably fast, by the way, and kept everyone engaged and thinking.

The age range was fairly remarkable, too --- from a few months to I'd guess more than 80 years. So it was a good evening for everyone involved.

Plus, this great model of the Lucas County Courhouse put in its first public appearance in many years. We found it some months ago languishing in the Chamber/Main Street office basement. No one remembers who built it or exactly why, but we'll be working on figuring that out, too.

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