The time has come to create a vision of San Juan that we can steer towards.
The Strategic Plan Committee has begun it’s monthly meetings and will be looking at the documents that have been created prior to this group’s convening to see what can be used and what needs to be altered. It is my belief that the Historic San Juan Bautista Plan which built upon the current General Plan is a great beginning point. Much work went into identifying those with a stake in the discussions and assigning tasks and timelines to put the plan into action.
Unfortunately, the Historic Plan, as thorough and precise as it was, never seemed to make it into the public’s awareness. I believe that one of the lessons of that project and other projects that I have been personally involved in, is that without the ability to communicate the vision, you may as well have saved the energy and time for something else. I hope that we will honor the work of those who gave their time and thoughts to creating the San Juan Historic Plan by building upon their work.
The City will soon be beginning to work on it’s new General Plan which is to guide us for the next 20 years. Input from the community will be essential to coming up with the vision of what San Juan is to be in 2035. The documents which the Committee is using to inform ourselves are available online and the committee may be available to the public at the City Library.
It is my intent, as a member of the Strategic Plan Committee, to make an effort to keep the public aware of what is happening, communicating when there will be opportunities for the public to participate. All meetings of the full committee are open to the public and are noticed by the Library, City Hall and the Post Office. I will work to get the finished, updated vision into the hands of the residents of San Juan so that we can all be on the same page in terms of when we are on track and when we are not.
A shared vision is a very powerful tool. As we seek a vision of a thriving San Juan, we will need to be creative and bold. We need to stretch our boundaries and realize that the San Juan of the Future will not necessarily be the San Juan of the Past. Change is the only constant. There will be change in San Juan, the Strategic Plan is a way to guide that change so that it won’t be something that happens to us without our participation in steering the direction, when possible.
In that change, let us not lose the small community with a history and character which can not be found anywhere else. San Juan is unique. A rear view mirror is useful, it is important to be able to look back at where you have been, but if you try to steer your way forward looking back, you will likely be surprised at where you wind up.
In San Juan . . we wave!