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home : current news : current news June 20, 2018

5/29/2018 1:47:00 PM
Visioning project going deeper at forums

Now that the initial interviews, surveys, and community meetings are completed, the visioning process known as Sisters Country Horizons is entering into a period of deeper conversations on specific topics.

Connected Sisters will be held Thursday, May 31, 5 to 8 p.m., in the Sisters High School lecture room. The event is free and open to the public, and those planning on attending are asked to email to reserve a space. Light food and refreshments will be provided.

According to Steven Ames of NXT Consultants, the purpose of all four forums is to "take the higher-level thinking on values and visions that surfaced in the surveys, interviews, and meetings, and engage in longer, deeper community conversations about the key questions, challenges, and critical choices being heard" by the consultants.

The format for each of the forums will be similar. Attendees will receive a report on the overall vision project and learn about key findings from the project's community interviews, meetings, and online survey. Initial input has come from approximately 700 interviews and surveys. An open conversation will be held on key questions for the topic being considered. The large group will then break into small groups and work on a slate of possible strategies for achieving the goal topic of the meeting.

Some of the topics to be considered on May 31 include governance and leadership, education and learning, civic engagement, civil dialogue, inclusion, and volunteerism. For example, there are a variety of populations in Sisters - those who have lived here all or most of their lives, families with children in the schools, and newer retired residents who moved from somewhere else. Some of these people's paths may or may not cross on an average day, yet what can be done to connect these disparate groups to create an inclusive deep sense of community?

The conveners will hand out a list of potential strategies, based on what they have heard from the community, to address issues pertaining to the topic of the forum. Participants will break into smaller groups and prioritize the strategies, selecting perhaps the top five for achieving a more connected Sisters. If time allows, they may be asked to pick a "signature effort," that thing to do if only one could be accomplished.

The three other forums are: Prosperous Sisters (economy and jobs), June 4, 1 to 4 p.m., Aspen Lakes Brand 33 restaurant; Livable Sisters (growth and planning), June 12, 5 to 8 p.m., Sisters City Hall Council Chamber; and Resilient Sisters (health and safety), June 18, 1 to 4 p.m., Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District meeting room.

"At all four forums the goal is to identify positive, creative solutions to current challenges," Ames said.

Over the summer, the strategies identified at the four forums will be tested and feedback collected. In September the community-wide vision summit will be held, where the four vision themes will be incorporated into an overall community vision, including action items with which to move forward.

In the coming weeks, check The Nugget for ads and articles on the forums. There will also be information on the Sisters Horizons Facebook page and their website at For more information the consultants can be reached at

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