Over the past several months, Stewards from the Voyage Forward Public Engagement Team have been combing the region asking community groups and individuals FOUR Questions. As part of our “Journey to Success”, the Stewards asked:
- What do you like most about living in (your city)?
- What do you like most about living in the Koochiching County area?
- What don’t you want to lose as the Koochiching County area changes over time?
- If you were in charge, what would you do to improve the Koochiching County area?
The goal of the FOUR Questions process was to identify those issues the region valued, what they would like to see changed, and what they do not want to lose in the future. The results of the FOUR Questions will form the basis of a much broader survey seeking input from a greater number of residents.
Within the next two to three weeks we will be releasing the results of the FOUR Questions. In conjunction with a commentary in the JOURNAL, Northome Area News, and the Littlefork Times all of the results will be available on the Voyage forward website at www.voyageforward.org.
In a spirit of transparency, three sets of documents will be released. The largest contains the raw, unedited data just as it was entered into the data base by question. Typos and all.
The second set of documents will contain the very broad categories and “themes” which were created by the Stewards. These documents include:
- Categories/themes from questions two, three, and four.
- Categories/themes from question one; the cities of Birchdale/Loman, International Falls, Norhome/Mizpah/Gemell, Littlefork and the City of Ranier.
- Theme priorities based on the number of responses in each theme area
The last document is the final summary report. This document will contain all of the themes for each question and a summary of recurring comments submitted by those that participated in the process.
It was a grueling process reviewing all of the answers. The Stewards spent many evenings and many hours reviewing the responses, categorizing them, and finally creating the broad themes. I’m sure you will find some of the comments entertaining, some very passionate, and some that will raise an eyebrow.
From the major themes identified by the comments you submitted, we are diligently designing a survey to delve a bit deeper into the issues that you, as a community, said were important to you.
We have also provided the cities an opportunity to ask questions specific to their community. These questions will be included in the region wide survey. It’s an excellent opportunity for our citizenry to provide input to the future of our cities and region.
Our goal is to have the survey ready for the residents of Koochiching County and the surrounding area by the first or second week of June.
We touched roughly 800 citizens with the FOUR Question process. Wouldn’t it be something if we had 4,000 or more people complete the survey! It isn’t often citizens are asked for their input on education, government, health care, business, economic development, infrastructure, community growth, and much, much more.
Be a voice for change – Do you part in forging the vision for our region and complete the survey. It’s your future, participate in the change that is afoot. Help us make this a community of choice.
Voyage Forward Steward