What is the future? How can we plan for it? As we embark on a new process for planning the future, please let me remind us of the success that I remember about our community and the planning process:
· In the 1970’s, a few of the people from the young Jaycees figured that someday, we would be in the 1980’s and we better get ready for it. Project 80’s resulted in a plan for a bike path, a revitalization of the Clio park, and even a small bandshell. We see now a million dollar amphitheater, art center and preschool building; a seven mile bike path, and a park that is used all summer by local residents and community organizations.
· In the 80’s we planned the “We Care” campaign which impacted the schools, created the community council and the July 4th festival, the community calendar and the Christmas parade among other things.
· In the 90’s, the We are Family campaign resulted in the Character Counts program in the schools and a new attempt to help families and children.
· In 2000, over 150 people came together at the media center of Carter Middle School to create eight committees. These committees created the downtown clock tower and the brick welcome signs as you enter Clio. The intergovernmental relations committee created the Regional Planning Board, and the entire community sent a message to Mott Community College that we would support a Northern Tier campus.
· In 2008, over a hundred people came together to create a vision for a healthy community, again creating eight committees to implement safety measures, health fairs, sports and family events, and other quality of life measures – most of which have been accomplished by now.
We have been successful planners during each decade since the 1970’s, and now in 2011, we will create eight committees again to envision a future that may be beyond our current comprehension that includes a self-sustaining global economy with and world-class educational system. I know we can do it. We have done it in the past, and we can do it again. I’m optimistic.