City Council begins retreat by looking at visioning process

Thursday, June 5, 2008 | 10:21 p.m. CDT; updated 2:38 p.m. CST, Monday, March 1, 2010

LAKE OF THE OZARKS — Many new ideas were proposed for Columbia’s visioning process Thursday during the first night of the City Council’s annual retreat at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Some members of the community have expressed concern that the collaborative visioning process seems to have come to a halt. The council said that this is not true and that progress is indeed being made.

“We need to get the word out,” Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said. He said that the community thinks a vacation has been taken from visioning. “That’s not true,” he said.

Columbia-based consultant Sarah Read of the Communications Center Inc. proposed new concepts to help guide the council through the visioning process as it moves forward. Read suggested that the Citizen Oversight Committee now be referred to as the CVC, which will either be the Columbia Visioning Committee or the Community Visioning Committee.

A public workshop will be held in July as a catalyst for implementing the ideas.

“Visioning needs more visibility soon,” Read said. “We need to show citizens where to engage, then show the results of that engagement.”

Read emphasized the importance of community involvement as the process takes place.

“Citizens want to be engaged, and they will help you if they’re engaged in the right way,” Read said.

Over the next two days, council members will attend sessions on other issues deemed important to Columbia. Today’s agenda includes discussions about the natural resources inventory, land disturbance issues, growth management plans, zoning changes, crime issues, work force issues and nonmotorized issues.

Saturday’s agenda includes discussions of priorities over the next year and what action will be required of the council.

Check the Missourian’s public life blog, The Watchword, at for updates on what happens in the council sessions. The Sunday Missourian will have a wrap-up story summarizing the main events of the retreat.

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