Lindenwald’s community council hopes to roll out strategic plan

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

HAMILTON — Lindenwald’s community council, People Reaching Out To Others: Celebrate Our Lindenwald (PROTOCOL), hopes to up its game in terms of bringing area awareness with a long-term vision.

During the October PROTOCOL meeting last week, a strategic plan initiative was announced to jumpstart that process.

“We have good attendance at our meetings and residents are genuinely engaged, but how can we move the needle to even better move toward that safer, cleaner, more engaged community which everyone wants,” PROTOCOL chair Frank Downie said.

Downie said he and Brandon Saurber, Hamilton City’s Neighborhood Department Head, were talking informally at the beginning of summer, and PROTOCOL came up in conversation.

“I began to wonder if the Lindenwald Community Council had peaked,” Downie said.

Downie explained that since Saurber had worked to help the German Village neighborhood develop a focused strategic plan, the two discussed if Lindenwald might want to move in that direction.

“I consented,” Downie said. “We decided this was a task that would be easier to develop with a smaller group of regular meeting attendees and then present to attendees at large for approval.”

Saurber said he had “done a number of strategy sessions and facilitations for different groups, but we wanted to tailor these to focus on an all-volunteer group.”

Presented via PowerPoint, the strategy first opened up by addressing four parts: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats the Lindenwald community has.

“Our goal is to be more focused in our quest for a safer, cleaner, more engaged community,” Downie said.

The strategic plan’s mission statement focused on Lindenwald being a “state of mind. The power of this place is felt through the overwhelming pride and affinity that current and past residents have for it.”

The plan’s statement also promised to dedicate a level of appeal for young families to live in Lindenwald and promote a level of care to properties that will “shine as bright as its bounty of parks.”

“A community with less blight, with residents — homeowners, renters and landlords — taking more pride in the appearance of their home and business properties is what we hope to accomplish,” Downie said. “Residents who are more familiar with their neighbors can work together.”

The outcome would be outlined by three subcommittees, according to the strategic plan. Those subcommittees being Live Here, Blight/Beautification and Better Connections.

“I myself am the lead for blight and neighborhood appearance,” Lindenwald resident Gregory Bisdorf said. “I see that group doing a few more trash pick-ups like Lindenwald litter patrol in different parts of the neighborhood.”

Downie said those interested can commit to one of the three subcommittees, set up times to meet and ultimately report back during regular PROTOCOL meetings, which will likely move to meet every other month.

“That will allow the committees time to meet during the intervening months,” Downie said. “The smaller group also came up with several ideas as to how the committees might approach their goals.

“In the end, the strategy isn’t just about choosing what to do, it’s more importantly about choosing what not to do,” Downie added. “This is a group of volunteers who have big aspirations.

“This was effectively an exercise in developing priorities for how they will spend the precious human and financial resources they have to devote to driving improvement in their neighborhood.”

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