OUR CITY

Citizen input critical to future planning

TOM ROWLAND
Posted 4/12/18

Last year our city celebrated the 175th anniversary of our first corporate charter from the Tennessee General Assembly. We hosted a celebration to commemorate the events that have evolved through the …

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OUR CITY

Citizen input critical to future planning

Posted

Last year our city celebrated the 175th anniversary of our first corporate charter from the Tennessee General Assembly.

We hosted a celebration to commemorate the events that have evolved through the years to make "The City With Spirit” such a great place to live, work, worship, raise a family and retire.

The events of our anniversary brought to mind the events of 25 years earlier when we marked the 150th anniversary of Cleveland. It was a great celebration of food, fun and reviewing our history.  We looked ahead to the next quarter century and the rest is history. 

We have made tremendous progress in all areas of our community and are setting goals for the future as we work toward the 200th anniversary and beyond.

I have been blessed to serve as mayor of Cleveland since 1991; therefore, I have been actively involved in the past two anniversary celebrations. It is remarkable to me to see what has taken place in these 175 years. We have experienced tremendous growth and had some great achievements. It has taken a lot of people through the years to make our dreams become reality.

We are fortunate in Cleveland to have so many who deeply care about the city. We have families here whose ancestors were among the first settlers and they remain to carry on family businesses and traditions. We also have many who came here to go to college or take a job with a local industry. They stayed and now call Cleveland “home.” 

Cleveland is filled with people who care about our future. We saw that last year when large numbers of people attended a series of community meetings as we talked about needs, wants, hopes, dreams and plans for the future of Cleveland. 

Recently, when the city held a special public session on parks and recreation, people filled the meeting room at the Cleveland Bradley Public Library. They shared thoughts, ideas, suggestions and more. It was a productive session and some of those ideas are now being put into place.

Cleveland has an excellent Parks and Recreation Department that strives to meet the needs of young and old alike through its many facilities and activities. Our beautiful Cleveland Bradley Greenway system is but one example of our focus on family, health and quality of life through our Parks and Recreation Department.

Recently, over a thousand people took time to complete a survey about our city’s future, either on paper or online.  Since then, our city has enlisted the help of a consulting group to help staff begin mapping out plans and budgeting for the future.

As the planning continues, so does the next round of public meetings to discuss the future.  A meeting is set in each district and each of them begin at 6:30 p.m. Each session is hosted by the city councilman representing that district. I choose not to attend these district sessions, as I feel this should be a time for council members to be one-on-one with their constituents and to listen to their needs. 

The first public meeting has been held for District 1 at the Museum Center at Five Points. The next session will be April 17 in District 3 at Cleveland Middle School. On April 19, there will be a meeting in District 2 at College Hill Recreation Center. On May 3, there will be a meeting for District 5 at Cleveland High School. Then, on May 8, a meeting in District 4 will be held at Mayfield Elementary School.

These meetings provide citizens and groups with opportunities to have an impact on the city’s long-range plans. This is also an avenue for constituents to meet city council members, city staff and neighbors.

It’s an exciting time in the life of "The City With Spirit.” Our residents, businesses, civic and community leaders working in harmony and unison can help form a path for direction of the next 25 years and beyond.

The future looks bright for Cleveland. It will take each and every one of us to assure we continue the growth, progress and positive image needed to carry us into our 200th anniversary year and beyond.

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