2/18/2014 12:44:00 PM New date set for 'economic summit'
The City has set a new date for its community economic forum. The forum will be held Tuesday, February 25, in the commons at Sisters Middle School from 6 to 8 p.m.
The City has proposed building an amphitheater as a community asset with the hopes of boosting Sisters' economic vitality. That proposal has drawn significant opposition, so Mayor Brad Boyd has asked the community to weigh in on the types of assets they do want.
That challenge, as the mayor defines it, is how to promote economic vitality in Sisters while remaining true to local values and maintaining quality of life. Boyd is asking those who responded so passionately to the amphitheater proposal to participate in an "economic summit" to explore other ideas for community assets that will promote that vibrancy.
Boyd told The Nugget that the focus of the summit will be on what kind of community assets Sisters can create to encourage visitors to the region to come to Sisters and stay awhile, and to capture a percentage of the millions of people who travel through Sisters on their way somewhere else.
"This is why we think it's important to create, I'll use the word, 'sticky assets,'" Boyd said.
Boyd says that the creation of such an asset was the impetus around the controversial amphitheater project.
"The goal of the City is not to build an amphitheater for an amphitheater's sake," Boyd told The Nugget. "If 51 percent are in favor and 49 percent are against, we won't build it because that would be divisive to the community. We need to build broad-based support. I'm not attached to building that project. I am attached to making Sisters more economically healthy - and maintaining our uniqueness and quality of life."
To that end, Boyd wants to hear ideas. Some that he is certain will come up are the amphitheater; a skating rink; and an athletic field house (which could have multiple purposes). He also expects that some will want nothing done.
"My next thought is, we'll do a little preliminary research on (the ideas)," Boyd said.
Then, the City would gauge public opinion through a survey included in utility bills or by some other mechanism.
Boyd hopes to see the community energy that was on evidence in the two meetings on the amphitheater translated into other actionable ideas.