More than 90 percent of the persons asked to participate in leading the Clark County Strategic Planning process have accepted, Dr.
Wesley Kluck said Tuesday during a meeting of the committee.

If four others, who were asked but have not reached a decision, agree to participate, it will bring the participation level to 98 percent. “I think that is phenomenal,” Kluck said.

Kluck also announced the co-chairmen and community advisors who have volunteered to lead each of the seven subcommittees. Those committees will meet and determine the best way to accomplish their goals. When the committees have formed individual agreements, they will join together to determine the plan of action for the entire county.

As Kluck showed a diagram of the committees’ structure, he mentioned that one box should be much larger. “That represents all citizens of Clark County,” he said. He said all citizens are part of each and every committee.

The seven focus areas are: Education, health care, housing, economic development, tourism, leadership and funding and foundation partners.

The meeting included a presentation by Ed Bee, president of Taimerica, a consulting firm hired to facilitate the strategic planning
process.

Taimerica is being funded through grants from the Cabe Foundation, Olds Foundation, Ross Foundation and Southern Bancorp.
Representatives from these foundations will serve as leaders of the financial subcommittee.

Bee agreed with Kluck that the participation shown so far has been good. “Anytime you get 90 percent of a community to agree on anything, it’s a very good sign,” he said.

His presentation urged citizens to ‘think outside the box’ or consider non-traditional solutions to problems. An example of this can be found in this community, he said. Clark County and other nearby communities are often sought as a retirement destination by persons with disposable income.

By offering products and services for those retirees, the community is gaining income and resources such as life experience and wisdom.

Those non-traditional sources often provide more increases in the number of local jobs and income than traditional sources. Bee said recent statistics show that 22 percent of the income spent in Clark County is from retirees.

Another non-traditional source of jobs and income is tourism, a resource Clark County has, but doesn’t often promote, Bee said.

Many communities fail to properly define community development, he said. “Some people mistakenly think that community development is selling their town, but it’s not.” Community development is “building a product that can compete successfully
for jobs, business investments, tourists and retirees.”

Over the next two months, Bee and his staff will help the subcommittees organize and set up meeting schedules. In the meantime, he asked everyone present to go online and complete a community survey. The responses will be used to help guide the planning process by determining what’s needed most in the community.

The survey, and more information can be found on the committee’s Web site at www.clarkcountyplan.org.