Community Council weighs new study topics

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Is there a pressing community issue you think should be addressed?

Each year Community Council brings citizens together to analyze and find solutions for important issues facing the region that lies between Burbank and Dayton, from the Snake River to Milton-Freewater.

Community Council is seeking ideas for its fifth year of facilitating community improvement through its study process.

The public is encouraged to submit potential topics for the new study. Send your suggestion with your name, telephone number, and email (or postal) address to Community Council, P.O. Box 2936, Walla Walla, WA 99362 or submit your idea via the Council’s website, www.wwcommunitycouncil.org.

To be considered for the 2013 study, suggestions must be received by April 1. Submissions are accepted throughout the year, so suggestions received after that date will be considered in the next cycle.

Please describe the topic as fully as possible and describe how it fits the following selection criteria:

  1. Definition and Manageability: Is the issue clear? Can the issue be researched and effectively handled by the study process?
  2. Importance: Is the issue of importance to the region? Does it affect large numbers of people on an economic or quality-of-life basis?
  3. Necessity: Is it likely other groups can or will carry out a similar study?
  4. Citizen interest: Is the issue likely to attract participation from a broad spectrum of members of the community at large?
  5. Effectiveness: Can the issue be resolved by reason, based on fact, or are the emotional overtones too great to permit reasoned analysis?
  6. Timeliness: Will the study provide guidance for decisions needed now? Is there enough time to complete the study before community decisions must be made?

The Community Council Board of Directors will announce the 2013-14 topic early this summer. The six-month study will begin in the fall.

Broad public participation increases the effectiveness of the citizen-driven process — everyone interested is encouraged to participate. The topic will be thoroughly explored, and the study will conclude with a report to the public and recommendations for action.

A task force will then work with government, business and community leaders for community implementation of those recommendations.

The Community Council has been a catalyst for community improvement since 2008. Its study process is an effective tool for enhancing the region’s quality of life. Previous study topics have included “Enhancing the Educational Attainment of Our Region’s Children,” “Optimizing Resources: Value-Added Agriculture,” “Reducing Gang Membership through Prevention,” and “Improving Communication among Citizens and Government.”

More information about those studies and implementation results can be found at www.wwcommunitycouncil.org.

Julie Reese is executive director of Community Council. She can be reached at info@wwcommunitycouncil.org or 509-529-0119.

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