Public Comments Sought on Jonesboro's Future

Jan 11, 2013

This release is from the city of Jonesboro:

Members of Mayor Harold Perrin’s administration will join with members of the Jonesboro Comprehensive Planning Advisory Commission (CPAC) in a series of January meetings to field public comments regarding the Jonesboro Vision 2030 plan.

Jonesboro Vision 2030 is a working document, currently being drafted by the commission, for presentation to the mayor and city council that addresses goals, objectives, priorities and processes intended to help Jonesboro grow responsibly over the next 20 years. Launched in 2010, the plan is in its final stages of edit and consideration. “The public has been a part of this process all along,” planning director Otis Spriggs said. “The commission is made up of some 50 private citizens, who joined the mayor’s administration and other planning consultants in driving the process thus far. In addition, a series of public participation meetings were held throughout the city by different subcommittees seeking the public’s ideas and input. This is another step in that process; where the public has an opportunity to share additional ideas after seeing the early stages of the draft.”

Jonesboro Vision 2030 Co-Chair Gary Harpole says it’s important for people to understand the process and take an active part. “This, like any planning document, is a living, breathing document. Once it’s completed, it will allow us to assess where we currently stand as a community; infrastructure, parks, housing, economically, etc., and compare that with where we realistically think we can be in 20 years. Then we use that information to help guide current and future administrations, planners, councils and commissions as they work with the private sector and other state and federal agencies to help us become the city we want to become.

“We want to make sure we’ve evaluated the plan from every angle. There’s still work to be done before its finalized, but every journey starts with that first step. We are moving toward delivering that first step to the mayor and council,” Harpole said. “We haven’t stopped growing, and everyday we operate outside the parameters of a working comprehensive plan, we run the risk of making decisions that can have a domino-type impact on future growth and development.”

Spriggs said the format of the meeting will be one of brief overview with most of the time committed to public input. “The document as it stands is very lengthy, and we want to take a little time at each meeting to give an executive summary of the process for various sections. We think that is critical in case some people just don’t have time to read the document in its entirety.” The full Jonesboro Vision 2030 draft is available for public viewing at the city’s website; www.jonesboro.org

“We will focus on 3 or 4 sections per night, give a summary of those sections, then open it up for the public,” Spriggs said. The meetings, which will all start at 6 pm in the city council chambers at the Huntington Building, are as follows:

January 14th: Transportation / Environment / Technology

January 22nd: Physical Development / Public Health / Education

January 28th: Housing & Neighborhood Development / Public Safety / Parks & Open Space / Economic Development

Spriggs said that each member of the public that wants to share ideas or thoughts need to do nothing but show up. “There’s no pre-registration. We have asked those that have inquired to be prepared to speak for up to five minutes; but we are also encouraging citizens who have more input than they can share within those five minutes to submit written comments of whatever length and detail they choose,” Spriggs added. “We want the commission to have an opportunity to review any input a citizen has, so we don’t want the obvious time restrictions of these meetings to hamper their ability to share.”

For more information, please contact: Otis Spriggs Jonesboro City Planner 870-932-0406