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Visioning discussion open to entire public

POULSBO — Mayor Donna Jean Bruce hedged her bets before the city’s first “visioning” workshop and it was, by all accounts, a huge success. She’s hoping for more of the same Monday night.

The city will conduct a second “visioning” workshop at 6 p.m. June 27 at the Poulsbo Library to gather additional public comment on the developing of a plan to revitalize downtown and the entire city.

“I hope people understand the need for a revitalization or redevelopment for downtown because if we don’t have a plan, it’s all going to be piecemeal,” Mayor Bruce explained.

Unlike the first meeting, which was directed by a moderator and by invitation only, Monday’s session will be informal and allow for more public input on the issues facing the city, like parking, Bruce said.

While parking is the most obvious issue facing downtown, redevelopment in that district will require more than addressing that single issue, she noted.

“If you solve the parking problem, you might discover that there are other problems that need to be addressed and that’s why we need to have a plan,” Bruce said, adding that the potential for other issues that weren’t addressed at the first workshop is one of the reasons the entire public is invited to Monday’s meeting.

“We want to get different perspectives from different people and everyone is going to have an opportunity to speak,” Bruce noted.

After the meeting, the city staff will gather and organize the information from the two sessions and present it to the city council during a mini-workshop, she said.

“We’ll take it slow and put it through the process and see where it goes from there,” Bruce explained.

From a staff perspective, Monday’s meeting should fill in more pieces of the bigger picture surrounding renewal and revitalization, commented City of Poulsbo Finance Director Nanci Lien.

“The first meeting was a great start and gave us a definite framework to work from,” Lien explained.

During that gathering, several issues were brought up by some of the most active leaders in the community and now the general public will be able to give city staff a clearer picture of how those issues affect them, Lien said.

“The problem with asking general questions is that you often times don’t get down to specific issues,” she said.

With the general questions already addressed, the public will have a better opportunity to look at the particular challenges that need to be explored, Lien explained.

“If you say we need help in this area, then we’ll be more prepared to address those specific issues and what people see as the vision for the city,” she said.

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