LETTER: Washougal Strategic Plan Survey One Part of the Entire Strategic Plan Process

November 30, 2011

Plan Needs to be Supported by Council

I am amazed to hear that after close to a year of work Mr. Delavar has decided that the Strategic Planning Team’s results “may not be meaningful.”

At the beginning the citizens and business owners were asked how they would like to see the City of Washougal look in the future. The questions were developed and presented at a City Council meeting for approval, with Mr. Delavar present. The Council was involved in all stages of the plan and development of the survey. The public was also encouraged to share their ideas at City Council meetings. There were questions asked of the team at the council meetings and approval to continue was given. The concept was well thought out, focusing on a variety of views.

Any question or survey dealing with numbers can be interpreted in different ways.

The Strategic Planning Team had three formal town hall meetings and three informal coffee gatherings to get citizen input and to discuss each question and share their ideas. The team visited every business in Washougal to get the business perspective as to how they saw their business fit into Washougal’s future. From these conversations a better understanding of the city’s future was developed. These gatherings to discuss ideas complement the survey.

Mr. Delavar is focusing on numbers only. The final decision and strategic plan will be developed from a result of all information gathered. Any survey can be picked apart question-by-question.

The city of Washougal is interested in the input from its citizens and businesses to help shape our future. Let’s focus on the results from the entire process of having citizen involvement in their community.

I support the work of the strategic planning team and encourage them to continue to develop our city with the input from the citizens that will be affected by their decisions.

Larry Keister

Washougal, WA