New Richmond has commenced with phase two of its economic development plan.
“Tonight we are through with just talking.” economic committee member Ray Perszyk said at the Sept. 7 meeting. “Tonight we take action.”
More than 30 concerned residents, merchants, and local officials attended the meeting at the New Richmond Boys and Girls Club and signed up for areas of public interest or expertise in the village’s economic initiative.
“There will be a total of seven action-oriented committees that people can sign up for tonight,” said Perszyk. “The seven committees will form, meet, design, come up with a plan, and implement ideas in the areas of recreation, history, culture, business, education, finance and administration, and other opportunities.”
All of the committees will concentrate on what Perszyk calls ‘buckets of opportunity.’ He feels that this is the most effective way to build a village talent pool.
“We know that there are many talented residents in New Richmond,” he said. “Since the first day, we have been continually surprised by the remarkable talent in town. We now need and are asking for their help.”
On July 13, New Richmond kicked off its economic development initiative. At that meeting, the steering committee introduced the project and solicited ideas and suggestions from the public.
“The response from the public has been wonderful,” said steering committee member Clark Lawrence. “We now know that the residents are concerned and interested in this project. They want their village to be safe, stable, and thriving. Now we just need them to sign up and start taking action.”
Lawrence, who teaches strategic planning at the University of Cincinnati, said that the next phase of the initiative is brainstorming.
“We want these committees to do more than just meet,” he said. “The time for talking is over. The time has come for creating tangible ideas to set in motion. Phase three is brainstorming. It is time for action.”
Helping the village with the brainstorming and idea implementation stage is marketing and development expert and village resident Laura Thomas.
“I am very excited to be a part of this initiative,” she said. “My true passion is for brainstorming. The upcoming brainstorming sessions will be focusing and working on project ideation and concept innovation; we will be diverging many thoughts to come up with big ideas. Then we will be converging or funneling those ideas into the buckets of opportunity that we are asking people to sign up for tonight.”
The economic development steering committee, which is made up of Perszyk, Lawrence, and Jill Cochran of Renaissance New Richmond, is proud of the momentum of the initiative so far but recognize that the road ahead will be difficult.
“In just a couple of months, we have made progress,” said Cochran. “We are all very excited about the prospect of a bright future. This effort will require the help of everyone in the town. We can do this together, I know that we can.”