Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday chose its top-priority goals for the upcoming year.

Four items – conducting a visioning project; marketing the North Coast Business Park; preparing for a Cascadia Zone earthquake and tsunami; and establishing an arts council – were the commissioners' top choices for their 2013-14 goals.

The goal-setting session took place at the board's annual retreat, which included a presentation from former Hillsboro administrator Eric Jensen on a proposed visioning project for the county.

Visioning provides a long-range, "big picture" set of goals and objectives for a community, Jensen said. With involvement from stakeholders and ample input from the public, it provides of vision of what people want their community to look like in 20 or 30 years.

Hillsboro conducted its own visioning project that produced, in 2000, the Hillsboro 2020 plan, Jensen said. That plan provides city leaders with direction in choosing particular projects and programs.

Community input was gathered through a visioning fair, workshops and forums, focus groups and newsletters, Jensen said.

Last year Clatsop County adopted a Strategic Plan that lists more than 40 major capital and planning projects either currently underway or proposed. County Manager Scott Somers said while the strategic plan shows "our organization is moving forward," a visioning process would provide better direction to commissioners and staff in setting priorities down the road.

Commissioners indicated general support for the visioning proposal, and Somers said staff would develop a request for proposals seeking bids from consultants to facilitate the project and present it at a future board meeting.

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