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3/15/2011 - Residents Encouraged To Help Shape Future

Residents Encouraged to Help Shape County Future
Public Event Scheduled for March 15th

The next phase in the county’s 10-year strategic planning process begins March 15th at a Cumberland County College event where the public is invited to begin giving shape to ideas emerging from a countywide survey.

The strategic planning initiative, known as “Cumberland County 2010-2020: The Future is Now” has been underway for the past year beginning with input from focus groups followed by the launching of the survey in December.

The ultimate goal of the process is to develop achievable strategies that will help guide the positive growth and development of the county over the next decade.

So far, nearly 400 county residents and people who own businesses here have responded to the survey, which asks questions about the challenges facing the county as well as future opportunities for education, business development, job creation, and quality of life improvements.

William F. Whelan, Director
William F. Whelan
Director
 
We’re really encouraged by the number of people who have already taken the time to respond to the survey,” said Freeholder Director, William F. Whelan. “People care about the future of this county. And even with the economic challenges we currently face, it’s important to have a positive vision and a set of priorities for the future.”

The geographical distribution of residents who have responded to the survey so far generally mirrors the county population, with the largest numbers coming from Bridgeton, Vineland and Millville and the rest from the surrounding townships.

Attendees at the March 15th event will have an opportunity to hear preliminary results of the survey, but the survey process will continue for the foreseeable future to give as many county residents as possible a chance to share their opinions.

The March 15th event will be held at the Frank Guaracini Jr. Arts Center at on the campus of Cumberland County College between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

This will be a chance to take some of the broader concepts we’ve been discussing and begin turning them into tangible initiatives we could accomplish by 2020,” said Freeholder Louis N. Magazzu, liaison to the steering committee. “We look forward to hearing from the public.”

Anyone who has not yet taken the survey can do it either online (click “The Future is Now” link on the county website www.co.cumberland.nj.us) or on a hard copy available at local libraries, school facilities, and many other community locations as well as by calling the Cumberland County Planning and Economic Development at 856-453-2211.