July: Strategic Planning 

As my 18-year-old daughter – a graduate of Fountain Fort-Carson High School in 2017, and recently returned from China – continues with her “post high school” plans, she undoubtedly has encountered the question that many of us began asking ourselves as we wrapped up high school and went out into the world: “what do we want to do with our lives?” Our younger children frame the question a bit differently when they talk about what they want to be “when they grow up.” But ultimately, we all face these questions in our personal lives and, hopefully, we find the answer to that question and lead fulfilling lives. 

In a sense, communities really are no different from individuals when it comes to planning and developing a future. As with individuals, communities find themselves asking the question: “what do we want to be in the future?” In fact, successful communities really never stop asking themselves that question. However, while all cities find themselves faced with the question, what separates the successful cities from their struggling counterparts is the manner in which they work towards the answers. 

From a local perspective, we have had many successful opportunities to sit down and work to frame what we, as a community, believe that Fountain should be like in the future. Examples like the recent Olde Town discussions led by our Urban Renewal Authority, the Gateway discussions focused on the entryways to Fountain from several years ago, or even Parks & Recreation Master Planning efforts have given us the opportunity to begin to refine our collective visions of Fountain’s look and future. Out of the multitude of “visioning” and “planning” types of efforts have grown numerous other initiatives that are designed to actually achieve the visions that the earlier efforts only hinted at.   Our current Strategic Planning process is another effort designed to really help us hone down on some top priorities that we can focus on as a community.  Although still in the early stages, early feedback from the City Council has placed priorities like a Recreation Center with a Pool, adequate Street Funding, quality Fire & EMS services for our East side, and high speed Internet access for the entire community at the top of our list.  These will be areas where we need to come together with the Fountain community to achieve lasting success.

So, as with my 18-year old, the question for Fountain is “what do we want to be when we grow up?” Unlike my daughter, however, the difference in obtaining the answer is that we are a community made up of thousands of individuals, each with his or her own view of what Fountain should strive for. And developing a unified vision with all those disparate viewpoints is where the difficulty truly lies. Over the next several months, our Council will continue to get feedback from the community and develop that top priority list for years to come.  I would encourage you to jump in and help out! 

Posted by Scott Trainor On July 06, 2018 at 3:07 PM