|Dana Larsen-Ramsay has a full sheet of dots that will soon become her|
votes for specific priority actions in the Watershed.
Getting Public Input
|Community Confluence participants listen to Erin Anderson Wenz|
(Barr Engineering) explain the public input gathering process.
|Marlin Rudeusch, Shoreview resident and John Schmal|
(North St. Paul) discuss issues in the watershed.
|Posters on display captured information offered by participants in|
the three fall 2013 Community Conversations held around the District.
During the fall gatherings we collected information from about 100 people who told us which lakes, streams and wetlands they visit, how they interact with them and use them, what they value about them and their issues of concern and suggested solutions. Watershed staff also met with city public works staff in each of the cities in the watershed to hear their concerns, provide updates and gain input. The Board reviewed the data we collected at those three fall meetings and provided further input.
Over 1500 brainstormed ideas and issues were gathered. Barr Engineering consultants helped us process and organize all the input to present at the public prioritizing event, the Community Confluence: Where Conversations Meet event held on January 30, 2014.
DotMocracy at the “Community Confluence” creates the stage for prioritization and decision-making about watershed issues
On the evening of January 30, despite bitter cold temperatures and the aftermath of a morning snowstorm and slippery roads, a crowd of people gathered together at Maplewood Community Center to help the District develop its focus for the management plan for the
|Alex Hernandez Abreu offered beautiful|
harp and cello melodies during the
Community Confluence event.
next 10 years. We were blessed by beautiful harp and cello music played by musician, Alex Hernandez Abreu who warmed our spirits, energized us and calmed our nerves! Winter driving and survival in Minnesota takes its toll!
Two new areas of focus, not in previous watershed plans, emerged in our input-gathering process:
- Promote Smart Development & Redevelopment and
- Support Access to Water Resources.
|Bill Blesner, Little Canada Mayor, prepares his ballot.|
Dozens of residents from all around the District, city commission members, lakeshore property owners, a mayor, naturalists, business owners, Master Gardeners – anyone who was compelled to get involved in a democratic process of voting came together to prioritize key issues of concern and actions to address water quality and related ecological challenges.
|Scott Ramsay casts his vote.|
|Confluence citizens review the ballot to decide on their priority|
actions for the District's 10-year management plan.
What is DotMocracy?
Eight large paper print-outs were mounted to the wall pertaining to the eight goals and sixty-two total priority actions. Participants contemplated their choices, discussed them with other people and then finally voted by placing their sticker dots next to the priority action items they thought were most important.
At the end of the night the preliminary results were presented and there was time for questions and a brief discussion.
**********What were the results of the prioritization?**********
For a tally of the votes for each goal please follow this link.
|Serious deliberation in the voting process.|
This vote is not the final straw. It’s only a beginning in a longer process of engaging the public in helping make water quality decisions for our Watershed District.
Didn't get to Vote? Do our Online Survey!Taking attendees' suggestions to heart, if you or someone you know were not able to attend the January Community Confluence meeting or didn't know about it, we have created an online version of the DotMocracy process! Please pass the word on to anyone who works or lives in the District who has not already weighed in through this voting process to help us prioritize actions for the next ten years. We have created an online survey with the list of goals and actions to continue to gather public input.
The survey will be open until April 15th, 2014.
What's Next in the Plan Update Process?
We will continue to gather input from our online survey, find ways to interact and engage with underrepresented groups of people through our Community Capacity Assessment project with the University of Minnesota and share our results with you later this year. Watch for an article on that U of M project in an upcoming issue of the Ripple Effect. We will be entering the technical input phase of the planning process. There will be more opportunities for the public to weigh in on the Preliminary Draft and Final Plan as time goes on.
We’ll keep you updated along the way.
Many thanks to those who attended and for those taking the opportunity today to share your voice through the online survey.