Mayor Don Schonhardt said at last week's "Our Community, Our Future" event he wants to make Hilliard "the first lifelong community in the state of Ohio."

Mayor Don Schonhardt said at last week's "Our Community, Our Future" event he wants to make Hilliard "the first lifelong community in the state of Ohio."

But what does this catchphrase mean?

"Just as the term implies, lifelong communities are places where individuals can live throughout their lifetime," Schonhardt said. "The lifelong community concept is about diversity. It means fine-tuning our land use and community planning processes to accommodate the diverse population, young and old, and all those in between."

Schonhardt said that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American moves 11.7 times in their lives. The highest mobility rate is among young people in their 20s.

Some cities are trying to keep their residents from moving by offering diversity in housing, such as apartments and start-up homes for young people, and senior housing that is close enough to shopping and services to eliminate the need for transportation.

For Schonhardt and Hilliard City Council, the lifelong community concept has become important enough that they adopted it as a central part of a new vision statement at their Jan. 13-14 retreat.

It reads: "Hilliard strives to be a lifelong community with an exceptional quality of life and an enriching environment that allows our citizens and businesses to maximize their opportunities. We will be an innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable community that balances growth, recreational activities and governmental services while preserving our ties to tradition and community spirit."

The lifelong community concept, as well as other topics of discussion, caused council to talk about tweaking some of its current committees. For example, the recreation and community involvement committee, which is usually light on legislation, would become the lifelong community enrichment committee. The economic and community development committee would change to the economic and entrepreneurial development committee.

A new committee, tentatively called regional governmental affairs and services, was also proposed.

Council spent the second day of the retreat prioritizing its goals for 2012-13. The top goals for each committee are:

• City planning, projects and services: "Prioritize and implement code changes" was easily the top goal. Coming in second was "standardization of citywide signage that aligns with brand."

Much of the first day of the retreat focused on "branding" all aspects of the city of Hilliard as it relates to the comprehensive plan.

• Economic and entrepreneurial development: The top goal is to "identify and eliminate impediments to business growth, development, attraction and expansion and look at zoning code." Second is to "facilitate process to identify brand." Third is to "encourage the local chamber to offer more programming relevant to small business and entrepreneurs and be proactive regarding potential small business events and financial opportunities."

• Regional governmental affairs and services: The top goal is to identify and pursue "shared services and interests/best practices in regionalization." Second is to "identify and pursue state and federal grant opportunities."

• Lifelong community enrichment: The No. 1 goal is to "involve development community in changes needed to support concept." Second is to "identify best practices." Third is to "participate in planning with Destination Hilliard and identify resources the city has to promote and support the signature event."

• Finance and administration: The most important goal is to "identify potential 2013 expense reductions." Second is to "review existing subsidies/fees adjustment opportunities."

• Public safety and legal affairs: The most important goal is to "develop plans/enhance programs to address crime." Second is to "rewrite emergency operations plans."