It seems at first glance, that the meeting held Wednesday, as part of a City Commissioner effort to engage and probe the citizens about Cushing's priorities, was a good start. No huge revelations, but a solid step in the right direction. Since Mr. Andy Kats was our City Manager, discussion of this sort, has been non-existent, to say the least. And finally current management has become keenly aware of its required necessity, from the current commission. It may have taken a few strategic no votes, and some behind the scenes articulation of the need, but finally this idea of vision or strategic plan is again taking hold.
How will we begin again to move forward again? Here is how Don Amon Chairman of the Board of Commissioners characterized the meeting. Mr. Amon told RDMGtv "The Vision and Planning meeting was presented by Sherry Smith-Gray who has facilitated over 400 vision and planning sessions for places throughout Oklahoma and beyond. (You can probably get more information from Steve). She mentioned a three prong approach to the process including surveying students, creating groups, and finding champions to carry the projects through to completion. The plan must be fluid and focused into a few specific goals. A domino effect may occur where several other smaller goals are met in completing a larger goal". Mr. Amon continued, "Mrs. Gray mentioned that the City, government, can't do it all. The citizens of Cushing are going to have to buy in and dig in to create the community they want to see 5 to 10 years down the road. It is going to take a village to create that village. My hope is that when this process begins that we have hundreds, if not thousands, of people ready to help in the creation, execution, and completion of the vision that come out of the process. We must stay focused! "
We all don't have to agree on every detail of every proposal, but we should all agree on movement. Too stand still and do nothing, in my opinion, equates to moving backwards. However, with the best ideas, cooperation, strong leadership, a lot can be achieved. This is what I hope Wednesday's meeting set in motion. Just to have a commission that agrees enough, to have such a public meeting, is a huge step forward. Let's get engaged in this process citizens of Cushing. You can have your biggest impact outside of the ballot box, right now.
There will be questions asked, and answers accumulated, over the next few months. If asked, tell them what you think and believe, and then follow through by attending meetings, and holding leadership accountable, for the information gathered.
Cushing needs great leadership right now. And outside the commission, I am not sure we have it. This is bigger than any one person, or any one position. Citizens can't rely on a one person to fix our issues. We have to engage and be part of the conversation, so that our leaders know that they are held to account for how they lead, or don't lead.
The next challenge for citizens of Cushing, will be to keep the majority of these commissioners in office. We cannot regress, or get weak-knee'd and lose sight of the progress we have made to get to this point. This is not an endorsement of all the commissioners currently serving elected terms, but it is a recognition of the desire of citizens to turn over commission seats to those that are not satisfied with the status quo. So let this be encouraging to citizens. We can't look backwards, only forward towards progress of defining our vision and goals for our city.