Columbia Vision Commission holds final re-visioning meeting
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Vision Commission held a public re-visioning meeting for the fourth and final time Wednesday at Rockbridge High School. The commission has met once a month since March to discuss 13 topics Columbia residents hope to see improved. The final agenda included environment, development and governance.
The purpose of these meetings is to get the public's perspective of what improvements need to be made to Columbia. The meetings give the city and the council an idea of whether they are moving in the right direction when making city improvements.
"I feel that the city honestly wants to know where they are, if what they're doing is right, if it is correct, and if it follows through the right vision," Vice-Chair Alvin Cobbins said.
The commission holds re-visioning sessions every five years to assess the improvements made to the community based on what the public voices. At Wednesday's meeting one member of the audience voiced his concern that there has been little improvement in energy efficiency. He said the environment does not seem to be a priority in Columbia. These concerns are areas where the vision committee would like to see Columbia reevaluate their development.
"I do think that being a progressive city, that the city will respond in accordance to the information we have gathered," Cobbins said.
The only concern the commission had at the end of the series of meetings is that community participation is not as strong as it would have liked.
"We did not get the participation we would have liked to have, but the participation we did have was genuine. It was upfront, it was honest, and it was really felt. So, therefore, I think it was a success, but not as successful as we had hoped," Cobbins said.
Cobbins said he does not expect new developments proposed during these four meetings to be acted on for a couple months. The next stage in the process is to consolidate all the community feedback gathered at each meeting and present it to the city.
The commission previously discussed topics such as arts and culture, downtown, economic development and education.