Community Forum Sparks Hope in Logansport

Posted by IndianaHCI on January 31, 2017, in Communities , in Logansport.

Public reviews topics of discussion at community forum

“After this meeting, we have hope.” That was the sentiment expressed by one table of participants at Logansport’s Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI) community forum on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. More than 100 local residents turned out to share their thoughts. The event was held at Logansport High School, with pizza and refreshments provided by the Cass County Community Foundation. Attendees are eager to see the next steps of the initiative unfold.

Overall, the progress made at the forum received high praise from many segments of the Logansport community. The community forum held a session conducted in Spanish to ensure everyone’s voices would be heard. Deanna Crispen, Cass County Community Foundation President and HCI Coordinating Team Member, said, “I sat in the Spanish session on community leadership. I suppose I should’ve confessed to those present that I knew the language, but I wanted to listen and did not want the young people present to censor their comments. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how many of them want to assume more leadership roles in the community, but beyond their churches,don’t know where to seek them out. I was also surprised to learn that some of our Hispanic students seek to volunteer more in the community, but hold jobs and cannot participate as much in extracurricular and volunteer experiences. They pointed out that many scholarship applications ask for extracurricular and volunteer experiences, but they are stuck because of jobs.”

Logansport’s Hometown Collaboration Initiative Coordinating Team Members are finalizing the first phase of the initiative, Foundation. They will meet again on Feb. 7 to analyze the results of the HCI survey and community forum as a group. They are tentatively scheduled to select a Building Block at their meeting on March 8. The possible Building Blocks are:

Community members gather around list of ideas for development

  • Leadership: Develop a new generation of local leaders who will take an active part in addressing community priorities.
  • Economy: Build a supportive community environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Placemaking: Invest in your place through creative quality of life initiatives related to public spaces, design, local foods and tourism, among others

During the third phase, the Capstone, the team will develop a project proposal with community input, submit the proposal for approval and seed funding, implement the project, track its progress and document key outcomes. Cooperation between city government, county government and the utilities has been a major topic of conversation in Logansport.

Fellowship and discussion over dinner

Logansport’s Utility Service Board agreed to move their January meeting so as not to conflict with the date of the forum. The Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent, a Utility Service Board member, the Utility Service Board attorney and four members of the Logansport City Council attended the community forum. All three Cass County commissioners also attended.

Logansport Mayor, Dave Kitchell, summarized the evening, saying, “I’m proud of the dialogue and deliberation everyone contributed last night. Thank you everyone for hosting, speaking and talking it out. You are our conscience and you will be our guide.”