Results of April 20th Goal Setting Meeting

Partridge Community Meeting Report

April 20, 2015

 

Overview

Community members from Partridge, Kansas and the surrounding community held a meeting at the Partridge Grade School on Monday, April 20th at 6:30 pm. 25 years ago, Partridge – funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation – identified a group of goals to better the community. In the years since those original meetings, these goals were accomplished through the efforts of committed volunteers.

The purpose of this meeting was to begin to identify a new set of common goals for the next five years.  The organizing group did a great job getting the word out about the event. Twenty-seven people attended the session, ranging in age from 6 month to two individuals in their 90’s. Chris Terrill assembled and presented an overview of the previous goal setting process and shared photos of the community projects that had been completed since 1990. Andrea Springer of Springer Coaching and Consulting facilitated the discussion that followed this presentation.

The views, ideas, and goals in this report reflect the input gathered from the participants who attended this 90 minute meeting.

The Big Picture – What Works

The evening started with having the group focus on “big picture” ideas about Partridge. Participants were asked to form small groups of three to five and come up with answers to the following questions:

 “What are the good things about our community?”

These are the responses:

  • School
  • Small town feel
  • King Street Center
  • Library
  • Churches
  • Lots of small businesses
  • People
  • Farm-based community
  • Close to nature and to a bigger town
  • Post office
  • Cemetery
  • Pleasantview businesses
  • Café
  • Garage
  • Volunteer Fire Department
  • Farmer’s Coop
  • Safety (safe place to live)
  • Rural Values: hard work, honesty, trustworthy, helpful neighbors, friendly people
  • Family Fest
  • Creativity
  • Park
  • “All Ages” (a wide variety of ages)
  • No drug culture.


 

The Challenges

The small groups were asked to answer the following questions:

“What would we like to improve in our community?”

These are the responses:

  • Sidewalks down Main Street
  • Walking paths
  • Pave Main Street
  • More housing
  • Rural Water
  • More children’s activities
  • Social gathering places
  • Community center
  • Exercise center
  • Sandwich/Coffee shop
  • Heartland Shares (reboot)
  • Longer Library hours/new building
  • More neighborhood activities
  • Community chorus
  • A “sometime” municipal band
  • Tax structure more friendly to new construction
  • A place for indoor walking
  • Outdoor activity spot where the old grocery stood
  • Clean up blighted areas
  • Community Christmas décor


 

“What would we like to improve in our community?”

These are the responses:

  • Keeping the post office and the school
  • Keeping up housing stock
  • Employment opportunities
  • Volunteers
  • Housing
  • Internet access
  • Social “silos”/groups
  • Need more progress in blending the community
  • Getting the word out about what’s going on
  • Rural population is engaged, Town population is less so
  • Have more to celebrate
  • How do we engage people 25 years later?


 

The Dream

At this point, the small groups were to complete the following exercise:

Imagine this day five years in the future – April 20, 2020.  Your community partnership success story appears in a national magazine.  As a group, outline the articles details:


 

  • The principal accomplishments
  • Community impact
  • Community leadership
  • Anything else your group sees as important

Each small group shared their “success stories” to the larger group.

Group 1:

  • Partridge doubled its population
  • Empty lots now have new houses
  • The post office and the school were saved
  • Leaders for this effort were the individuals who had attended this brainstorming session (mainly Todd)

Group 2:

  • Partridge has a new community building with sidewalks leading up to it
  • The community building has coffee shop, café, daycare, and exercise center components
  • The community building sits next to a paved street (with Yellow Brick roads)
  • Impact – The community building project brought the community together, gave the town a focus, stimulated the economy, and created jobs.

Group 3:

  • Partridge built a new community center
  • The community center holds the library (with internet access) and an exercise facility

Group 4:

  • Partridge built community gardens
  • There is now a series of summer community events on the old grocery store site
  • There are arts and volunteer activities
  • A new community center has been built
  • Citizens are sharing responsibilities
  • There are “welcoming activities”

Group 5:

  • Working together, Partridge built community gardens
  • Partridge now hosts a “joint music program”, bringing church choirs together for a “jamboree” to help build community

Based on their success stories, the small groups were then asked to develop possible goals for the Partridge community to work on over the next five years, using information identified earlier as strengths, areas for improvement, and dreams for the future.

After presenting these goals to the larger group, participants were each given three adhesive dots to vote on the goals they felt were the strongest ideas.  The nineteen goals presented to the group fell into six specific categories. This table lists the goals that were identified in the small groups and the number of votes each goal received at the end of the voting process.

Identified Goals

Goal Number of Votes
Partridge Community Center 24
Community Choir/Arts Event 18
Community garden 17
Secure funding for sidewalks/walking paths 13
City clean up and improvement/Work Day 2
Construct an outdoor activity space 1

Wrap Up

All twenty-seven participants were engaged in the entire process throughout the evening and worked quickly and thoughtfully to complete each task they were presented with. At the end of the group session each individual was also asked to consider what they could do to help see one of these goals to completion.  The information gathered in this meeting will be used by the Partridge Improvement Board to discuss the next steps for implementation.

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