Shelby Township hosts 2015 priorities ‘visioning session’ to set annual goals

Once again the Shelby Township Board of Trustees is turning to its managers for input in township governance as officials set the date for the annual Township priorities community visioning session.

Visioning kicked off with Township department heads meeting Oct. 29 to set what they felt were the most pressing needs for the Township to address. That meeting was followed by a Nov. 6 Board of Trustees work session to add the Board’s views to the process.

The procedure culminates as individual taxpayers are invited to join and finalize the priorities 7 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Lower Level Conference Room of Township Hall at 52700 Van Dyke Ave. as well as online forms at http://www.shelbytwp.org.

“We sent invitations to all members of the Township’s boards and committees and are hoping to see them at the Nov. 13 meeting, but we’re also hoping to see some new people that have never shown up before” Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said. “This is an amazing opportunity for our residents to come out and tell local government exactly how they want their tax dollars spent.”

Stathakis said that, while he enjoys seeing residents in person at the annual public vision exercise, the increased access offered by an online survey is invaluable.

“It’s just as true here as it is everywhere else in government, if you don’t reach out and get as many people involved in the process as possible, slogans like ‘increased transparency’ and ‘listening to the people’ are just campaign speak,” Stathakis said.

The township’s Planning Department developed the online survey to allow more access to the visioning sessions and increase the scope and diversity of opinions represented in the visioning exercise. Online feedback will be added to the information collected at the Nov. 13 meeting.

“The online survey opens the exercise up to more taxpayers and does not create more work for Township employees,” said Trustee Paul Viar. “It ensures our taxpayers have their voices heard on how we spend their money without adversely impacting day-to-day services.”

The residents’ input from the Nov. 13 meeting and the online poll accounts for one-third of what will ultimately be the 2015 priorities. It will be incorporated with the priorities gleaned from township department heads and those priorities of the Board of Trustees to form the final Top 10 Township Priorities for 2015.

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