Give Your Opinion for Lakeland’s Future

Lakeland Vision is looking for some good people like readers of LkldNow to take a survey to help guide the city’s future. You can take the short survey online. The deadline is March 31.

The nonprofit organization has been spending a lot of time lately making sure they hear from a broad sampling of greater Lakeland’s full-time and part-time residents.

Executive Director Laura Rodriguez and board members have taken the survey out on the road. They’ve made it available via:

  • Paper or iPad at numerous community events including parades, Pig Fest, First Friday, cultural events and other gatherings.
  • Interactive voting software at meetings of civic groups and political organizations from both parties.

The survey itself is short: Just three questions. But the first one requires some thought and attention.

Participants are given a list of 16 community goals and are asked to rank them according to their priorities from most important to least.

Question 2 asks for participants to list any other priorities for Lakeland’s future, and question 3 asks for your zip code.

The whole thing took me about five minutes, but it would be easy to perseverate over the 16 priorities for longer than that.

The results will guide Lakeland Vision as it drafts its third document outlining community goals. These documents are created every decade or so, starting in 1998. Here’s the 2009 vision document:

View a larger version

Rodriguez said it’s too early to draw conclusions from this year’s survey. “So many people use this type of opportunity to voice their personal opinions, which shows me that many people truly care about the quality of life in the place they call home.  We’ll look forward to sharing the results of the survey with the community later this year.”

She emphasizes that the survey “really does make a difference for the future of our community.  Through the 1998 and 2009 visioning efforts, so many ideas have come forward which have resulted in significant and positive changes in Lakeland.”

She lists numerous projects that were inspired or supported by Lakeland Vision. Some of the recent ones include Age-Friendly Lakeland, homelessness strategy, community for a lifetime, walk-friendly and bike-friendly community designations, the city’s online budgeting tool, Volunteer Resource Center and Polk Health Care Alliance.

Lakeland Vision was formed in 1998 to “give all people in the greater Lakeland area a voice into the future planning of Lakeland,” Rodriguez said.

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