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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Missing Planning Document Mystery Continues

Fairhope, Al.

 'ACE' PLANNING PROGRAM

Miller presents award
On behalf of its Board of Directors, AMEA marketing manager  Linda Miller presented the city council recognition for achieving designation as an Alabama Community of Excellence; the city was formally awarded the status last May at an event in Tuscaloosa.  (VIDEO BELOW)

Beginning in In May, 2014 citizens were asked to fill out surveys and attend various town hall meetings to give their strategic input; many interesting suggestions were received at a meeting at the library that September  -- click.

(Miller is also president of the non-profit ACE organization; Mayor Kant is one of the (unpaid) directors of the AMEA, and its Treasurer.)

Karin Wilson, Sept. 2014

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS DENIED?

But, about a month ago when the Times political reporter asked for the final 'ACE report', we were first told there isn't one -- and  there was no updated strategic plan either (required before achieving official designation). Later we were told the report is still being worked on.


STATUS FORMALLY AWARDED LAST MAY

Referring to the designation officially-achieved last May (picture), an Al.com report referred to the many pre-certification requirements:

"Fairhope's participation in the program began with residents filling out assessment forms on topics such as community leadership and development, planning, economic development, education, health care and historic preservation.

'ACE' awarded, May 2015
Phase one then rolled into a visit from the ACE assessment team that included individuals from the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, Auburn University, Alabama Historical Commission and Alabama Regional Planning Commission. The group along with several community leaders conducted an informal review of the city and toured the community.

The second phase, called the Leadership Development and Strategic Planning component, sees communities establish a leadership development program and prepares an up-to-date strategic plan."


POLITICIANS WEIGH IN

Linda Miller addresses council
When asked where the updated strategic plan is, Mayor Kant said he recalled something about it coming across his desk -- and pointed the finger towards a city employee, community affairs director Sullivan, for explanations.

She said she thought the ACE organization itself in Montgomery still had the documentation -- and some "changes" are currently being made to it.

Councilman Burrell, who appears in the May photograph accepting the ACE designation,  told the Times he was confused about it himself, has never seen an updated strategic plan and to his knowledge the city council has never approved any such plan as a body as is usually the case with major policy issues.

Burrell:

"I have neither seen it, nor am I aware of the changes.  To my recollection, the council has not voted on it.  I don’t want to run the city down by saying I’m not sure how we got the ACE designation, but I was surprised to learn we had completed all of the steps."
 

(Publisher's Note: The ACE strategic plan is not to be confused with the comprehensive growth plan update now underway as well; but a 'Comp. Plan' is only one critical component of strategic planning.)




2 comments:

Anonymous said...

it is embarasing being a fairhoper sometimes ...

Anonymous said...

So, we were asked to fill out surveys and come to the meetings and nothing ever came of it?