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Community    |    Articles of interest to the community.

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published on 11/10/2003

got mtn. vision?

By staff writer

The public process to create a new strategic plan for the Town of Signal Mountain is going strong and meeting regularly at the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC), 809 Kentucky Avenue. Although the number of people participating has declined, the dedication and commitment of those attending has increased. Five groups met, led by facilitators, co-facilitators and scribes. At the third meeting on October 28th residents learned the results of the S.W.O.T. analysis.

Groups brainstormed Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (S.W.O.T.); then voted on their top five. All the votes were tallied from each group and here are the results (in no particular order):

The Strengths of the Town of Signal Mountain are:
?Great Natural Beauty – Sense of Place
?Safety/Security/Low Crime – Great Fire and Police
?Family Oriented – Great Place to Raise Children
?Excellent Elementary & Middle Schools – Strong PTA
?Neighborhood Atmosphere/Sense of Community
?Location – Proximity to Chattanooga with Natural Buffer
?Cultural Facilities – MACC, Playhouse, Library
?Interest in and Availability of Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Activities
?Well Educated Population

The Weaknesses of the Town of Signal Mountain are:
?Lack of Citizen Participation in Local Government
?No High School – Children Can’t Complete Education in Their Community
?Lack of Sidewalks and Bike Trails
?Lack of Government Unity and Ability to Address issues as a Mountain Top
?Feeling of Competition – Town of Signal Mountain verses Town of Walden
?Septic/Sewer Issues
?Stronger Building Code Needed for Commercial Building/Signage
?Inadequate Funding/Antiquated Recreational Facilities – Fields/Buildings/Playgrounds
?Absence of a Plan for the Future of the Town

The Opportunities of the Town of Signal Mountain are:
?Control Our Town’s Future/Growth Via This type of Visioning Process
?Work With Walden and Hamilton County to Create a Sense of One Community
?Secure a Public High School for Our Community and Children
?Fully Utilize our Natural Resources
?Preserve Small Town Atmosphere and our History
?Comprehensive Recreational Plan
? “Walkable and Bikeable” Community

The Threats of the Town of Signal Mountain are:
?Uncontrolled/Unplanned Growth
?Not Executing This Mountain Vision Plan
?Funding Shortfalls and Reduction in State Funding
?Traffic Congestion Up and Down Mountain
?Apathy of Residents
?Ongoing Differences Between Town of Walden and Town of Signal Mountain
?Deforestation/Risk of Losing Green Space
?Divisiveness in Community: Empty Nesters vs. New Families; Growth vs. No Growth
?Not Being Able to Walk or Bike Safely

After receiving this list, groups worked to come up with five words that represent the CORE VALUES of the Town of Signal Mountain. Each group came back to the auditorium where the lists were posted for everyone to see. And once again residents were able to vote on their top five CORE VALUES.

At the November 4th meeting, participants in the process learned that the top five CORE VALUES for the Town of Signal Mountain are:

?Recreational ?Educated ?Family ?Quality of Life ?Safety

And with this list of CORE VALUES in hand each group went on to write a MISSION STATEMENT. Returning to the auditorium, everyone in the planning process voted on their top three MISSION STATEMENTS. Residents will learn at the November 18th meeting what the new MISSION STATEMENT for the Town of Signal Mountain will be. Groups will begin the process of setting goals, realizing what the Town is committed to and where it is going. This will complete the VISION STATEMENT.

Every week new people join the process. A “catch-up” time is provided at 6:30 with Vice-mayor and Councilmember Bill Leonard and Councilmember Robert White. The regular sessions begin at 7:00 PM and are over at 9:00 PM. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Planning Sessions in the future include a second meeting of GOALS, two meetings on STRATEGIES and TACTICS, and a final meeting, set for March 2 to present the FINAL PLAN.

Have you got mtn. vision?

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