Planning Director Liz Hayden said Plan Hamilton embodies the intent of the residents who are “doing these amazing things, moving us forward to make our community a better place.”
Feedback is crucial for city leaders, said Tim Werdmann, Hamilton’s executive director of Internal Services, who said they cannot serve residents “in a way that’s meaningful” without their input.
“When we get feedback from the residents that says, ‘We want our streets fixed,’ or ‘We want more recreational opportunities,’ we take that into consideration and it provides a roadmap for us,” he said. “If we’re not serving the citizens, why are we here?”
Last fall, Hamilton residents provided initial input for the comprehensive plan update by answering the question: What is your vision for Hamilton’s future?
Respondents said their top priorities were fixing the roads, ensuring Hamilton is a safe community, improving traffic flow, adding family-friendly amenities, and growing job opportunities.
Safety was the highest-rated priority for respondents, as 83% of the survey respondents listed it as a top priority.
Hamilton Fire Chief Thomas Eickelberger said safety isn’t just protection, but it’s about being “a place where residents, business owners and visitors can feel comfortable navigating their community without fear.”
Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit agreed, saying a safe community is people, families and kids “enjoying the amazing amenities that our community has to offer; our outdoor spaces, our parks, the businesses, the shops.” He said the city’s on the right path when it comes to safety.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction, it’s just a matter of continuing to push forward and working every day to be better,” said Bucheit.
But safety isn’t just about police and fire. It’s also health and wellbeing, and fighting blight, said Marcus Oliver, Hamilton Public Health environmental administrator.
“A safe Hamilton is one where kids can go out and enjoy their neighborhood, neighbors can go out and enjoy it, whether it’s from parks and long walks or kids playing,” he said. “Just being able to have that sense of home outside, too.”
Hayden said she doesn’t recall safety being as big of an issue in 2019 as residents indicated today.
“The feedback that we’re getting is that people think that Hamilton is safe but they want us to know that’s really important to them and they want to make sure it stays safe,” she said. “That’s critical and helpful to us.”
Hamilton leaders are still finalizing the Plan Hamilton updates, but they’re seeking additional input, which can be offered by contacting the Hamilton Planning Department at 513-785-7350 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Plan Hamilton’s revisions will be presented to the planning commission on March 7, and is expected to be considered by City Council in April.
The staff at TVHamilton contributed to this story.