ELLSWORTH — City councilors are set to approve a document Monday night that outlines how the city sees itself now, what it wants to be in the future and what the council’s role is in getting it there.
The document in question is the result of a process that started last April, when councilors voted to pay the Bangor-based firm of Starboard Leadership Consulting up to $21,500 to help them craft mission and vision statements for the city.
A series of public meetings last fall and a survey that was made available to residents drew input from more than 300 people. That input was used by city officials and consultants to draft the document that is up for a vote Monday night.
Monday’s meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The vote on the mission and vision statement document is the last item on the agenda, though it is possible it will be moved up to earlier in the meeting.
Councilors reviewed a final draft of the document Feb. 1 at a workshop meeting. The several statements, as presented at that meeting, read as follows:
- Vision statement: “Ellsworth is an economically, socially, and culturally vital community that serves the region by providing an exceptional and unique place for business, leisure and life.”
A longer version of that vision statement contains five additional paragraphs that address the city’s “distinctive Downtown and Riverfront,” its school system and its role as a “thriving regional service center,” among other subjects.
- Mission statement: “To enhance the lives of residents by providing and maintaining essential infrastructure, public safety, education and recreation; and by welcoming and supporting economic activity through partnerships with businesses, investors and other organizations.”
- City Council mission: “To provide leadership in policymaking, planning and public investment to advance the City’s vision while continuing to provide high quality services at reasonable rates.”
Kathy Hunt from Starboard told councilors that each of the sentences in the document was “pretty carefully crafted.”
“They each mean something,” she said, both by what is said and what is not said.
One of the things that is not said, for example, is a vision of Ellsworth that serves primarily as a hub for tourists. While tourism is important, she said, residents at the forums and those who filled out surveys said they want an Ellsworth that is a vibrant year-round community, in which residents can pursue careers, raise families, start businesses and more.
City Manager David Cole also spoke about what the purpose of the document, particularly the vision portions, is.
“This is as you see the world in the future,” he explained. “This is how you want it to be.”
The mission portions of the document, he said, help guide the city to realizing that future vision of itself.