On Saturday, February 27th, members of the Board of Trustees and Village Staff met for a five hour strategic planning workshop at the offices of our Village Engineer, Gewalt-Hamilton. This was a great opportunity to work together as a group to brainstorm and identify some short-term and long-term strategic goals for the Village.
When discussing our vision for Long Grove, now and in 20 years time, the prominent theme was the preservation and enhancement of our quality of life. Appreciation for the natural beauty of our open spaces, ponds, prairies, and woodlands, and the serenity that it brings to our lives, is a value shared by each one of the Trustees. We are all mindful of the need to protect the native areas that have been preserved over time; to maintain them so that they can be enjoyed by residents of today and to take steps to allow these green spaces to flourish in future years. Even though the Trustees on the current Village Board have demonstrated differences on individual issues that have come before us, it was striking to see that our overall vision for our community is very, very similar. When our facilitator, Greg Kuhn, shared the results of prior workshops done with different Long Grove Trustees going back to 2011, the same sentiments were echoed, even repetition of the same words (for example, describing our village as Brigadoon).
One exercise had us breaking up into two smaller groups to assess obstacles, challenges, and other factors that may impact the attainment of our shared Village goals. An important area of focus that was identified by both groups is the need for cohesive economic development, not only in our historic downtown but in the periphery areas of our Village bordering our neighboring communities. In addition, both groups zeroed in on the fact that our biggest chance for success with this will be the current board’s ability to work together by putting individual differences aside and collaborating as a team. Community support of this will be key. I am hopeful that our candid discussions will prove productive.
At the next several Village Board meetings we will be discussing and refining the goals that were identified this weekend. The results of our workshop will set priorities, define responsibilities, and help us take the necessary steps to achieve our vision. I remain optimistic about the year ahead because of something else we all agreed on–our Board is brimming with passion. Passion from your elected officials for our Village. Long Grove has a motivated and hard working group of volunteers in place who all care deeply about our community and genuinely have the Village’s best interest at heart. Let’s harness that passion and work together, to build an even stronger future for Long Grove!