South Hutchinson Strategic Plan
The City of South Hutchinson completed the strategic planning process in July 2011. A Community Capacity Building grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce Rural Development Division financially supported the effort.A request for qualifications for a planning consultant resulted in the Center for Urban Studies at Wichita State University being selected to facilitate the planning process.Once the plan was completed, a launch event was held on November 10, 2011 at South Hutchinson Elementary School.
As the initial plan was successfully implemented it became apparent in 2013 that an update would be necessary. Additional community input was sought in late 2013 and early 2014. The steering committee reconvened during the summer of 2014 and redesigned the goals and objectives section of the plan. The South Hutchinson City Council formally adopted the proposed changes to the plan on August 18, 2014.
Community Interaction Process
In order to effectively engage the community in the planning process, WSU devised a ten meeting listening tour concept. Nine small group interaction sessions were targeted at different elements of the community including business leaders, religious groups, seniors and several other groups. A large community meeting was held in May that solicited additional input from the general public. In total, over 131 individuals participated in the process.
During the 2014 plan revision process, facilitators from WSU Hugo Wall School held an follow-up community meeting which was attended by 27 residents. In addition, survey cards were made available at local gathering points and online for residents to complete. A total of 5 unique online surveys were completed and 28 survey cards were collected from the community.
A diverse steering committee was appointed by the Mayor and council members with five members appointed by the elected officials and 12 individuals recommended by the city staff. The committee was charged with organizing the public input and focusing it into a working document. The chair of the steering committee was appointed to assist with meeting facilitation and present updates to the City Council. All steering committee meetings were open to the public.
Steering committee members were Lowell Peachey, chair; Tim Ault-Duell; Claude Bell; Mark Borecky; Glenn Epp; Ron Hirst; Jeanette Hoffman; Rhoda Jones; Erwin Leeper; Jerry McGonigle; Steve Miller; Sherye Parks; Joyce Pitman; Linda Richardson; Midge Simmons; Perry Stutzman, and Mia Wilson.
The efforts of the steering committee result in a draft of the plan that was presented to the City Council. Once satisfied with the plan, the Council sent the plan for review by the Kansas Department of Commerce. The original plan consists of background information, a vision statement, five Tier 1 goals, four Tier 2 goals and several objectives related to the completion of each objective. The 2014 revision expanded the total number of goals to seven and incorporated the four Tier 2 goals into the active plan. A corresponding webpage was created for each element.