Participate in city planning

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 11, 2018

Earlier this week the Poplarville Board of Aldermen concluded a three-part workshop to gather information on how to address the short-term needs of the city and collect public input.

Mayor Rossie Creel said it was the first time in recent history city officials conducted this kind of workshop, and he was excited that the community had a chance to be involved in the city’s decision making process on a deeper, more personal level.

Creel mentioned that Poplarville currently has a 20-year plan in place. While it is good for cities to have “big picture” plans, it can be easy for these goals to be pushed aside or forgotten when dealing with day-to-day projects and problems.

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This is why short-term planning is important for a city’s development. These types of immediate plans make it easier for cities to set precise, realistic goals and make budgeting plans to achieve them.

While this is true, it is difficult for cities to take these kinds of immediate steps without hearing the opinions of citizens. Creel pointed out that the second of the three workshops was specifically scheduled so the public could voice their concerns.

To that end, post-it notes were placed around the room so citizens could write their opinions about the city’s, “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats,” Creel said.

These meetings would have been pointless had concerned citizens of Poplarville not shown up to participate.

“The citizens of a community, given the opportunity to work together to arrive at a consensus, have the clearest and perhaps the only accurate perception of the needs and proper priorities for their community,” an issue of Urban Affairs Quarterly states.

Only with active community participation in local government can officials be shown a clear view of what the population really needs.