Vision Miles City Project
Posted by Joe Whalen (+621) 7 years ago
Rather than hijack the Downtown Survey thread, I thought I'd pickup the comment re: what's currently "missing" from downtown and offer comment that might prove useful to the downtown development effort as well as the community as a whole.

Roughly five years ago, the Miles City Area Economic Development Council (MCAEDC) sponsored an ambitious project in concert with its Leadership Miles City class that involved dozens of active community members and leaders across a broad spectrum of interests who gave freely of their time in the middle of their work days to create a comprehensive vision statement that could be used for planning and community development. The project was coordinated by Dr. Hicswa, past president of MCC, whose Ph.D. dissertation involved facilitating exactly this kind of process.

The topics addressed included: governance, education, health, business development, infrastructure, public safety, energy, agriculture, insurance, transportation, parks and recreation, tourism, historic preservation, media, entertainment and others that some of you might help me remember.

Interviews were conducted, data was compiled and Dr. Hicswa completed her drafting. Yet, to my knowledge, the final report wasn't released by the MCAEDC to the community for whom it was drafted. I've been told by both Mr. Coryell and the immediate past chairman of the MCAEDC board that the report is finished. I requested a copy of the document from the MCAEDC executive director on four separate occasions in 2011 and 2012, twice verbally and twice in writing, with ample time between requests but without a satisfactory response. Have any of you who committed your time and energy to this project, either as interviewers or interviewees, read the report? If so, would you please provide a reference to its published location?

What is currently missing from Miles City and its downtown district is a clear sense of identity and an articulated vision of what the community wants to be and is willing to support with policy, funding and personal commitment. As a remedy, let me urge the Miles City Star to track this document down and publish its contents without further delay. Let me further ask both the city and the county to withhold FY2015/2016 funding for the MCAEDC until the Vision Miles City final report is released unabridged to the community at-large.