Archive for Vision 2021

MPF’s Complete Vision 2021 Plan

MPF’s Vision 2021 Plan: A Remarkable Gem of a Document that garnered a resolution of support from the Village Council in 2009 and was published in 2011, but withered primarily due to resistance from the Mayor. The MPF committee members David Zack, Frank Raeon, Millard Rogers and Don Keyes put in endless hours of work compiling creative and constructive ideas from an exhaustive range of sources.  A link to the full document is available here

A Vision Statement for Mariemont: Part 1

A Vision Statement for Mariemont

 Vision 2021 Redux

“Dr. Emmett Brown: You’ve got to come back with me!
Marty McFly: Where?
Dr. Emmett Brown: Back to the future!”

 By Mike Lemon and Richard Wendel

                In November 2008, the Mariemont Preservation Foundation (MPF) undertook crafting a bold plan called Vision 2021 to act as a guide for steering Mariemont into the next decade. MPF methodically collected input from hundreds of interested parties representing the entire spectrum of opinion. This included businesses, social organizations, boards and commissions, school officials, elected officials, Village employees and students

            The MPF Vision 2021 Committee was composed of respected leaders including Richard Adams, Don Keyes, Frank Raeon, Millard Rogers, Jr. and David Zack. Working as a team, they compiled a 50 page document containing their findings. In January 2011, the Vision Plan 2021 was referred by the Mayor to the Economic Development and Planning Committee for a report and recommendation. After no report was made by the committee for months, in September 2011 MPF’s leadership attended a council meeting and recommended that the Village’s elected officials appoint a broad based Vision Commission. Specifically, the Mayor was encouraged to spearhead the effort to assemble a Vision Committee comprised of 15 respected volunteers.

            Council debated elements of the plan. However, neither the Mayor nor Council moved forward on the Vision 2021 Plan proposal, nor did they modify it or develop an alternative plan. After many additional months with no report or action taken by the Economic Development and Planning Committee or the Mayor, the topic was unceremoniously dropped from the Council Agenda after April 2012.

          In this first installment of a four-part series, let’s examine the potential financial benefits to the Village had the Mariemont Vision 2021 Plan been adopted in 2012 and used as a blueprint for future developments in Mariemont:

Let’s assume that the Mariemont council adopted the MPF Vision 2021 Plan to use as a guideline for the future and that an ad hoc Vision 2021 Commission with 15 members was selected and entrusted with the task of implementation.

            As a first step, several full-day retreats with councilmembers, the mayor and commission members were held to condense, prioritize and financially analyze the recommendations in Vision 2021. A mission statement and strategic plan emerged on the final day of the meetings. Basically, the mission statement stated a goal “to sustain and improve upon the quality of life enjoyed by Mariemont residents and engage the community in every phase of the planning and implementation process.”

One recommendation to jump start and sustain the process was the hiring of a full time Village Administrator. Council contracted with a major consulting firm to thoroughly vet qualified candidates for this position and aid in the process of refining and implementing a strategic plan for economic development, improved services and cultural enhancements.A.   

Fiscal Sustainability

With the continued loss of revenues from the State of Ohio and inheritance taxes, the long term threat to a balanced budget was quickly recognized and, unfortunately, this downward pressure on revenues was compounded by the shrinkage of the employment base in the Westover industrial park with the closing of a major business.

It was obvious to the Council and Vision 2012 Committee that alternate pathways to fulfill budgetary needs were imperative.

  1. The opportunity to partner in JEDZs (Joint Economic Development Zones) with surrounding communities was seized upon as one available means to fill some of the funding gaps. These partnerships with local townships generated hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly in unfettered revenue. This permitted the Village to move forward on infrastructure improvements and cover the increasing cost of services without increasing taxes to residents and businesses.
  2. After being schooled in available public financing options, the Economic Development and Planning Committee of Council identified types of businesses needed for the community and pursued recruitment strategies. To stimulate economic development, incentives and tools such as the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA), Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) , and Community Investment Corporation (CIC) were considered as pathways to clean up contaminated sites, revitalize the Westover industrial park and attract new businesses. These incentive programs enabled public-private partnerships to attract new businesses and retain and grow existing ones. They had the effect of revitalizing the business community that enabled commercial property owners to improve their rents and maintenance while increasing the number of employees and customers.
  3. Council also realized that additional savings could be achieved by shared services with surrounding communities. This eliminated duplication of expensive equipment and services without compromising safety while reducing costs. A cultural shift in governance from structured independence to an atmosphere of cooperation, sharing and coordination resulted in improved relationships that leveraged mutual interests and directions.

The new financial position from these three initiatives was consistent with no new taxes even as the Village could proceed with needed improvements in infrastructure.

As part of this series, the authors invite you to consider the following questions: 

  • Should Council adopt the Vision 2021 Plan or develop and communicate its own Vision Plan?
  • Should Council investigate and make a recommendation on whether to hire a qualified professional Village Administrator and rely on outside Consultants?
  • Should the Economic Development and Planning Committee proactively develop a strategic plan for business development, business retention and recruitment?
  • Would collaboration and shared services with other communities benefit the Village and lower operating costs?
  • Should Village officials reach out to other communities and begin a conversation on topics of mutual interest?

To view the entire Vision 2021 Plan click here

MPF’s Vision 2021 Plan

MPF’s Vision 2021 Plan: A Remarkable Gem of a Document that garnered a resolution of support from the Village Council in 2009 and was published in 2011, but withered primarily due to resistance from the Mayor. The MPF committee members David Zack, Frank Raeon, Millard Rogers and Don Keyes put in endless hours of work compiling creative and constructive ideas from an exhaustive range of sources. A brief summary of the process and general recommendations of the plan are posted below as well as on the MPFs web site. Next week, will post the unabridged 50 page electronic version of the Vision 2021 plan. All residents should be acquainted with this Vision Plan as it is a work of love dedicated to the promising future of the fine Community of Mariemont.

MPF’s Board of Trustees has a collective eye on Mariemont’s future. We are excited to share with the Village and its administrators our contributions toward a comprehensive ‘Vision Plan’ to guide future Village development and redevelopment. This plan will create a defined roadmap for future projects. It has been nearly 100 years since the original John Nolen plan for Mariemont was released. We think a Vision Plan is a wise investment for Mariemont’s next 100 years and beyond. Vision Plan Committee members David Zack, Frank Raeon, Millard Rogers and Don Keyes worked on this initiative.

Vision 2021 is a good example of what the Mariemont Preservation Foundation has been doing for more than 30 years – providing leadership and resources which have helped Mariemont remain a National Exemplar – a very special place for people to not only live, but to work, learn, and visit.

On September 26, 2011 the Mariemont Preservation Foundation formally introduced our recently published Vision 2021 document to local elected officials. Based upon a collaborative effort lasting more than two years, this important document is intended to act as a “blueprint” for guiding the future of the Village of Mariemont.

Vision 2021 identifies a “basket of ideas” which includes 21 important Themes and 21 Priorities. MPF’s hope is that Village Council will, over a period of time, not only embrace but implement many, if not most, of its recommendations.

Some important items which we think are worthy of becoming “next steps” include (a) hiring a full-time Village Administrator, (b) hiring a part-time Historic District Coordinator, (c) expanding our local tax base, (d) seeking grant monies, (e) updating the Village’s Zoning Code, and (f) the appointment of a representative, action oriented Vision Commission.

Working closely with Village Council as well as with local boards and commissions, the primary responsibility of the 12-15 member Vision Commission will be two-fold: (1) to develop strategies, time frames, cost estimates, and implementation responsibilities, and (2) to periodically update Vision 2021.

If you are interested in learning more about Vision 2021, please visit the Mariemont Preservation office at 3919 Plainville Road. You can also call MPF at (513) 272-1166 and purchase a copy of Vision 2021. The cost for purchasing this informative, handsome, and well illustrated 50 page booklet is only $10.00. (Mariemont Residents may purchase the booklet for $5.00).

Resolution of Support

On January 29, 2009, MPF received a resolution of support from Mariemont Village Council:

“The Council of the Village of Mariemont supports the efforts of the Mariemont Preservation Foundation to create a Vision Plan which involves Village residents, local organizations, local business people, local property owners, local public elected and appointed officials, Village Staff, local school officials, Board of Education members, students attending Mariemont schools, and, persons who live outside the Village but have an interest in being involved in helping create a long term vision for Mariemont.”

What is a Vision Plan?

Definition of Visioning

Visioning is a process for looking into the future in order to define both a community’s desired image and values.

Purpose of Visioning

To create a plan – a “blueprint” or “roadmap” – which can subsequently be used to help guide future public and private investment in the Village during the next 10 years.

Sources of Input

Broad based input includes all of the following “resource” groups:

  • Village residents
  • Local elected officials
  • Local appointed officials
  • Local organizations
  • Local business people
  • Local school officials and Board of Education Members
  • Students enrolled in Mariemont schools
  • People working in the Village
  • Major property owners
  • Non residents who have an interest in the Village’s future

Methods of Input:

  •  Public meetings
  • Community surveys
  • Community workshops
  • Village website
  • Mailed commentary and drawings
  • Vision Plan Components
  • Local tax base
  • Open space
  • Housing
  • Historic preservation
  • Redevelopment
  • Public facilities
  • Tourism
  • Schools
  • Local government
  • Public amenities
  • Community enhancements