Next week, Søren Simonsen and Alan Matheson are guest speakers at a presentation of The Next Steps, the first update of the Sustainable Design Assessment Team findings published in a report last fall.

On the evening of June 22nd, the SCDC will host a regional Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. in the Hales Performing Center on the campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College. The guest speakers will be Soren Simonsen, the 2010 Coos County SDAT Team leader, and Alan Matheson of Envision Utah. Also joining the consultants will be Shelley Mastran, Program Leader for the National Endowment of the Arts “YOUR TOWN” program, which focuses on downtown revitalization, a key identified need for Coos County communities.

Prior to this meeting a day long training session is to be conducted. According to Sandy Messerle, “The Next Steps will involve the setting of priorities and design of implementation plan through public focus groups throughout the region. The leaders/facilitators of these focus groups are being trained by Simonsen and Matheson in the successful processes and strategies utilized for these purposes in case studies in other areas where successful public collaboration has successful results”.

The “SDAT Steering Committee”, whoever they are, selected the leaders of the focus group, at an undisclosed location and through some unadvertised process based upon the following criteria;

The trainers/facilitators invited to participate in this process were selected because of their previous training in community collaboration by the Ford Family Foundation and Leadership Coos programs. Others invited by the SDAT Steering Committee have 10 years or more of successful community partnership experience and collaboration.

Also invited to participate in the process first hand are government leaders at the regional and local levels, who will need to understand the processes in order to understand and respond to the input we will derive through the public process moving forward.

Not to worry, however, for the 99% of us who do not meet these parameters set by persons unknown still have a chance to participate. Messerle says, “…in order that the process continue to be inclusive and transparent, we have contracted with PEG Broadcasting to film and televise the events in their entirety. Anyone with an interest in the training will be able to access it via Channel 14”.

It is unfortunate that so much time has passed between this update and SDAT evaluation without any marketing or publicity. Many people have simply never heard of the SDAT report, including several members of a recent committee chosen to select a new commissioner. A media release addresses the year long silence this way.

“Now that the county and community leaders and residents of Coos County have had several months to review the recommendations of the SDAT team, it’s time to begin the process of community validation, prioritization and development of an implementation strategy towards a sustainable future for Coos County and, in fact, our region,” says Geiser-Messerle.

The final SDAT report encouraged involving all stakeholders not only those aligned with the chamber or Roseburg Lumber’s Ford Family Foundation. “Public participation is the foundation of good community design. The SDAT involves a wide range • of stakeholder viewpoints and utilizes short feedback loops, resulting in sustainable decision-making that has broad public support and ownership.”

On another note. Last fall, during a BOC meeting Sandy Messerle promised to provide a copy of the SCDC budget. Here it is June and despite several emails and requests the budget has not been forthcoming. If anyone else has access to this budget please forward. Everyone, please send your request to Sandy Messerle here