In an effort to gain a cross-section of society's input for the County's 2025 Comprehensive Plan, town hall type meetings were held at community centers and similar venues throughout the County.  A Public Input Meeting Event was also held on April 28, 2015.  Citizens were also asked to serve as Community Advocates, attending meetings to lay out the goals and strategies of the plan. 

Common overlapping themes from Community Center Open House Forums included:

  • Best Assets:  natural resources, library and education
  • Needs:  bike safety, road improvements, sewer/water/internet infrastructure, affordable housing and jobs (manufacturing and professional)
  • Top Priorities:  bike safety, jobs and keeping/attracting young families

The 2025 Comprehensive Plan Survey Results compiled information from the citizen survey completed in the Fall of 2015.  Responses to open-ended survey questions can be read here.  There were over 2,100 respondents representing 6.4% of the county. 

June 2016 Update:  As discussions regarding the 2025 Comprehensive Plan have been progressed, some survey questions have been delved into deeper for a better understanding of the results.

  • Survey Question 11, "Thinking about the next 10 years, what would you like to see in the County that is not here now?  Please List:", was answered by 1,771 and skipped by 342.
  • Survey Question 12, "Similarly, thinking about the next 10 years, what would you like to see changed in the County?  Please List:", was answered by 1,554 and skipped by 559.
  • Survey Question 21, "Looking at the next 10 years, please indicate how important each of the following is to you", was answered by 1,741 and skipped by 372 on average with some skipping only certain topics.

Common overlapping themes from the survey included:

  • Best Assets:  natural resources, library, the people, and schools
  • Needs:  jobs, bike lanes, infrastructure (sewer/water/internet), and road improvements
  • Top Priorities:  jobs/businesses, young families/children, education, and bike lanes/routes

Other significant findings and themes:

  • An appreciation for and interest in preserving the area’s natural resources and beauty, the abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities, and the overall friendly small-town feel.
  • There was a major emphasis on the need for more job opportunities including jobs that offer a living wage.
  • A common request was to see more road improvements, including more bike lanes for safety due to the increasing cyclist population. Participants also requested more regional public transportation opportunities.
  • Other common requests included more recreational opportunities for youth, improved broadband/internet access, more affordable housing, and more attractions/incentives for younger people to move/stay here.