This is an important endeavor and can be an important planning tool for the future. However, it needs to be approached in the right way... methodically starting with the big picture and leaving the details for later phases.
I pointed out at the meeting that they should not get caught in the weeds at this stage. They need to determine what Kings County wants to be from a high level... How do they want to be described? Each town and village needs the same process to be conducted within this visioning process and coordinate with other towns, villages, and the County. This had been started to some degree with each municipality's Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP), but needs more depth and coordination.
Communities should plan to be complementary to each other, rather than competitive. This is a process that can help that happen. We have a community that is a shopping centre, one that is a cultural centre, and one that has evolved into a professional services centre. Some communities don't have a clear identity and need some help. Some have not embraced their identity, so need to make decisions on how to do this or change direction. These can all be part of this collaborative and integrated process.
Smaller communities play a large part in this as well. Do they want to be an agricultural community, a fishing community, an attraction for tourists, athletes, festivals, events, conventions, etc. -- or some defined combination of these? How do neighbouring communities work together to complement each other's offerings to families, tourists, and businesses?
This is essentially a large-scale branding exercise. Once it is done, the details and planning can be developed to fit and foster growth toward making these brand identities a reality. It will not happen overnight, but a well-defined vision will guide strategic planning to get us there.
Kings 2050 is in early stages. I am hopeful our leaders will be focused on developing the vision in a methodical, collaborative, and disciplined way.