German Village Gazette

Strategic planning underway for German Village Society

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The German Village Society Board of Trustees is being urged to think big about the community's future.

At its monthly meeting Jan. 13, the board began a strategic-planning process -- the first in several years.

Board president Jeanne Likins told her fellow trustees their goals would set a blueprint for the village over the next five to 10 years.

Professional planner Amanda Smolinec, who is fairly new to the village and a member of the historic preservation committee, will be serving as chairwoman and administrator of a task force composed of Society Trustee Darci Congrove, as well as four community members: Chris Crader, Jay Godfrey, Connie Swain and Nancy Turner.

"We are hoping that the task force that we've appointed, along with the committee chairs, board members and leaders in the community, will be audacious in thinking about what the village should look like," Likins said.

"And we have the opportunity to shape that if we are thoughtful about this process."

Likins said she doesn't want a plan that gathers dust on a shelf, so there has to be a "very solid buy-in our beliefs by stakeholders that the plan is a good plan."

"Those folks have to think it's a good product and it's worth our making an investment in it," she said.

"Second, it has to be on the radar all the time on the board. It's something we have to think of as being a touchstone at the meetings."

A progress report should be complete by mid- to late summer, Likins said, right around the time the Society starts planning its 2015 budget.

The last strategic plan, which identified 16 specific issues, was launched in 2000 and implemented through 2004.

Another planning process followed three years later, but upheaval at the Society -- reorganization of the board, turnover of staff and departure of the Oktoberfest event -- caused the society to prioritize again, Likins said.

The task force will have to seek a balance between too specific and not specific enough, she said.

"We're hoping the strategic plan will give us a manageable handful of initiatives that we can embrace and then determine how we want to go about executing that," Likins said.

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