Community offers feedback about strategic plan
Marion needs better infrastructure, reliable Internet and cell phone service, and entrepreneurial businesses, residents said at a strategic planning meeting Monday.
Misty Bruckner, director of the Public Policy and Management Center at Wichita State University, kicked off the meeting and said 80 to 90 people had provided feedback to the city. The center is helping Marion draft a strategic plan for what it wants to accomplish in the next three to five years.
Residents will have a chance to take an online survey in January, Bruckner said.
She asked attendees not to make personal attacks during the meeting, one of several the center had convened for the city.
As has been the case in other meetings, residents said these assets, among others, make Marion a good place to live:
- Great park and two lakes.
- Buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Friendly people (except two residents, one attendee said, not naming names, although seeming to have a difficult time keeping mum).
- An award-winning library and good school system.
- Well-attended events such as Chingawassa Days, Old Settlers Day, and Holly Jolly Christmas.
Challenges discussed included:
- Lack of housing.
- Reliable Internet and cell service.
- Streets in disrepair.
- Lack of civility.
- Negative attitudes.
- Limited variety of Main St. businesses.
- Lackluster “gateways” to the town.
Bruckner then asked the group what was standing in the city’s way.
Money, attendees said.
Taxes already are a concern for residents, they said.
At a similar meeting Sunday for parents of Marion students — advertised in the Hillsboro Free Press — city council member Zach Collett turned away a Record reporter.