Members of the Upper Arlington Community Improvement Corporation spent much of their Aug. 19 session discussing their role in sharing information with residents.

Members of the Upper Arlington Community Improvement Corporation spent much of their Aug. 19 session discussing their role in sharing information with residents.

Chris Scott, head of the CIC communication committee, suggested the group explore three action items: community presentations, strategic communications to the community on issues such as the recent Tree of Life Christian Ministries appeal and recruiting community advocates.

The group focused in particular on the Tree of Life issue.

The school appealed to city council Aug. 16, contesting a Board of Zoning and Planning ruling that it had filed the wrong application to use the old TimeWarner/AOL building at 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. for a school and church.

"How can community committees be instruments for the CIC in developing fact sheets on current issues? It is important that we communicate to the citizenry what the actual facts are for the community," Scott said.

CIC chairman Chris Widing said the nature of the CIC, which was designed to promote economic development to bring revenue to the city, schools and library, is in a unique position in terms of communicating with residents.

"Council has a lot of hats to wear when it makes its decisions," Widing said. "I think (communication) is something we probably should do. We should be out there representing this agency."

The committee mostly talked about creating a fact sheet to disseminate its position and the city's position on the Tree of Life appeal.

City council president Frank Ciotola said he felt uncomfortable putting together a fact sheet, especially because Tree of Life currently does not have another appeal before council.

"I wouldn't want to see this group as being a propaganda machine," he said.

He said taking on that responsibility would deviate from the CIC mission.

"The job of this board is to evaluate economic incentives," Ciotola said. "I really don't see why we have any business just blanket speaking on something that we don't even have in front of us in any way. I kind of see this as propaganda."

Widing expressed the same sentiment.

"I'm a little bit uncomfortable putting together a comparison fact sheet because there are so many variables," he said.

Scott said he thinks communicating with citizens is one of the core issues of the group.

"Wouldn't it be useful to look more deeply than what those assertions are and come up with a fact sheet that to the best of our knowledge really address the current realities that are being explained by Tree of Life?" he asked. "I see one of our roles being to promote information on economic development issues in the city."

Ultimately, the board decided to create a sample fact sheet and discuss it at an upcoming meeting.

The next CIC meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 16.

In other CIC business, Matt Shad, deputy city manager for economic development, updated the group about the city's progress with creating a fiber optics network.

He said he expects to have proposals back from two local hosting companies in the next few weeks and hopes the city can move forward with the project by the end of the year.

The board spent the remainder of the meeting in an executive session.