by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes
The City of Sanibel is hosting a workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, on strategic planning for the future of the island, as a city and a community. Input from residents, as well as the business and organization community, is encouraged.
“The workshop is an opportunity for residents, businesses and organizations to provide city council with their strategic planning priorities prior to the council’s two-day strategic planning retreat, which will be held on March 12 and March 16,” said City Manager Dana Souza.
The town hall-style workshop on Tuesday will cover locally-controlled issues which need addressed and focused on over the next decade. The discussion has been divided into three primary categories as a framework:
Environment – topics may include, but are no limited to the Sanibel Plan, local water quality issues, coastal resiliency, renewable energy opportunities and wildlife habitat preservation
Community – topics may include, but are not limited to small town character, Sanibel School, historic and cultural facilities, below market rate housing
Business and city infrastructure – topics may include, but are not limited to maintaining viable small businesses, transportation, city facilities and recreation facilities, such as buildings, stormwater, sewer, etc.
Each category will be given approximately 40 minutes with five minutes for each speaker. A comment card must be completed and submitted in order to speak. Papers, presentations, letters, etc., can be sent to City Clerk Scotty Lynn Kelly in lieu of speaking or as a supplement to comments.
Councilman John Henshaw had announced in the February council meeting he scheduled a town hall meeting to discuss strategic planning for Sanibel’s future. But after discussion among council and City Attorney John Agnew, it became this workshop hosted by the city.
“We must be looking strategically toward our future,” said Henshaw in the February council meeting. “Our focus should be on the big picture, preparing a long-range plan for dealing with issues not yet addressed and challenges we’ll face in the immediate future.”
Henshaw added he believes there is a lot of intellect in the city. “Soliciting and harnessing the collective wisdom of a group is very powerful, and, if we use it, a key to our success,” he said.