Bringing the Vision to Life

So now we have this 150-page comprehensive plan, complete with a suggested timetable and a string of recommendations. Where do we start? How do we translate this blueprint to life?

“We can go through this entire process, get hundreds of people involved, write the best plan in the world,” Tom Phillips said. “But ultimately, it is up to the citizens to make it come true — by electing leaders who share and promote the vision, sharing your opinions with commissioners, and actively working to make parts of the plan a reality.”

Those involved with the project felt the committee needed to keep four things in mind when promoting the project:

  1. Sharing the Vision — Communicating the vision is the first step. That is why the City invested in creating this website and ReNewton 2030 magazine. 
  2. Making It Fun — Community members also suggested presenting the vision in a fun way that will catch people’s eyes and inspire them to help bring it to life. 
  3. Getting Results — Results will be an essential component of getting community involvement.
  4. Creating Champions — Engaged members of the community will need to step up and take ownership of projects they are passionate about.

Assistant City Manager Tim Johnson said the City will use ReNewton Project-branded signage to designate projects in future years that are an outcome of the plan. These will point out the plan’s accomplishments and remind people that the project is ongoing. 

Newton Development Plan

Insights

“We need ownership and support from our broad community. A wonderful group of very dedicated people created the vision, pulled the words together. Now it’s time to get a broad spectrum of the community plugged into what it means to take Newton to the next level."
— Barb Burns, community advancement coordinator

“We’ve had a lot of people involved in this process and making sure that we have a really great plan. But it’s really important for us to get that story out to people. As well as having our elected and appointed officials really embrace it and make sure they are using it as they are making decisions about the city’s development and growth.”
— Erin McDaniel, Newton’s public information officer

“I think it has to be fun. People have lots of other things to do, and if you do something out of guilt or a sense of drudgery or responsibility, it’s often not as good as when it’s fun. I think when the community comes together, and starts doing things together — you know, maybe it’s a community-wide bike ride to raise awareness about bicycling. Or a garden on the front courthouse lawn to show that we could be gardening. Some of these kinds of high-visibility projects that let people know that change is coming and can get people involved.”
— Chuck Regier, curator of exhibits for Kauffman Museum

“You really need to create a sense of excitement throughout the entire community about the possibilities for Newton. There needs to be a sense of optimism and energy around what Newton really is now, and pride in what it is now, and what it can be in the next 20 years.”
— Cindy Vanover, executive director at Kidron Bethel Retirement Services and steering committee member