In a relatively brief city council meeting, Marion councilman Chad Adkins presented an idea that harkens back to the ideals political campaigns are made of.
“When I got elected, we talked a lot about vision, where we want to see Marion, all those kinds of things,” Adkins told council members Monday. “You get into the schedule of meetings, there’s no time to talk about what that vision is.”
The council, after discussion, voted to hold a vision summit on Oct. 6. The idea is to gather community figures and the council to lay out a concrete vision for what the hopes for Marion are, and how different community sectors’ goals can be reconciled to reach a consensus.
“Everyone has hopes of what Marion’s going to look like in 10 years,” Adkins said. “But hopes don’t necessarily lead to a vision or tie directly to a vision.”
Adkins and city administrator Roger Holter co-authored the proposal. Holter drafted an example vision statement so council could see what could potentially come of the summit.
“It’s easy to say, ‘OK, we’re going to come up with a mission statement or vision or whatever.’ It’s easy. Talk is cheap,” Holter said. “So I just tried to articulate a sample. What could it look like?”
Holter’s sample vision statement touched on housing, employment opportunities, religious prosperity, education, medical services, community history, and addressing future challenges.
Holter said it was important to get the different groups together to reach a uniform consensus about what direction the city should go in.
“The trouble is we’re all headed toward the same lighthouse, but we’re all in five different oceans trying to figure out, ‘Where’s it at?’” he said.
Holter said he wanted to show how overarching such a vision would need to be.
“Rather than being reactive, which many ran as part of your platform to be elected to city council, I think it would give us the opportunity (to be proactive),” he said.
Adkins insisted on having the meeting take place outside of normal council meeting time because it would take a lot of extra time and effort. Additionally, he thought it would be a good idea to hold the meeting at a different venue. No venue was set, though it was scheduled at regular council meeting time of 4:30 p.m.