Hillsborough County Ranks #1 in
Where to Live, Work & Play
Due to 2011 Planning Meeting!
This was one of the great news headlines participants envisioned reading in 2035 at the conclusion of the Partnering for the Future Workshop on May 6th. The Planning Commission hosted this workshop, bringing together elected officials from Hillsborough County; the Cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City; the School Board; with the Planning Commissioners, USF President Judy Genshaft and Hillsborough County School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.
It's rare that all these individuals come to-gether at one time. The last time the Planning Commission convened such a group was seven years ago when the last Evaluation and Appraisal Reports (EAR) began. Now, in 2011, was a great time to bring everyone together to discuss how we should move forward as we evaluate our Comprehensive Plans. As the Local Planning Agency for all four governments, the Planning Commission identified the need to increase coordination among these partners, all of whom are vital to planning for our community's future.
Through a series of scenarios lead by a neutral facilitator, the elected and appointed officials identified the important areas their local governments or agencies collaborate on currently. There is a lot of cooperation and coordination already occurring in Hillsborough County. The group exchanged ideas on the benefits of collaboration and what was needed to create successful partnerships in the future.
Next, each table of participants identified the top ten best things about our community. Presented 'David Letterman style,' the groups identified a lot we are proud of in Hillsborough County. From our championship sports teams and outstanding universities to our natural resources, and our world-class port and airport, there are many assets on which we can build for the future.
The Partnering for the Future Workshop yielded some important results for focusing our efforts in the upcoming plan updates. The recent Planning Audit cited the need for "articulating a clear vision of the County's future" to foster economic growth. The elected and appointed officials took a first step in establishing that common vision by collaboratively identifying the top six priorities for the future of our community. They were:
- Economic prosperity
- Intergovernmental coordination
- Planning for adequate infrastructure
- Water quality & supply
- Transportation & mobility
- Schools & education
Through a process called "mind mapping," the groups spent some time outlining aspects of those issues to consider as we move forward. They identified potential obstacles to success as well as opportunities that should be capitalized on. This information will be extremely valuable as we begin the process to update the Comprehensive Plans with all four local governments and their staff.
Based on the direction of the workshop, participants envisioned what they would like news headlines in 2035 to be. These are just a few examples of the ideas generated by our elected and appointed officials about the future of our community:
Tampa/Hillsborough Leads Nation in Job Opportunities!
Voters Approve Another Transit Line
to Connect the Region!
Tampa Bay Region Ranked #1
in Quality of Life!
A lot of positive outcomes were generated by the Partnering for the Future Workshop. It lays the foundation for moving forward together and a framework for making choices for our future. Look for summary results from the May 6th Workshop to be posted at: