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CrossroadsMHK website goes live

(WIBW)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 12:04 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - The website for Manhattan’s strategic planning effort has officially gone live.

The City of Manhattan says “CrossroadsMHK: Shape what matters. Choose our path.” has officially been chosen as the official name of its 8-month strategic planning effort that started in January. It sid the project website www.engagemhk.org/crossroads is officially live and residents are invited to share their input. Additionally, it said the first round of public engagement meetings has been scheduled for the week of March 22.

According to the City, CrossroadsMHK is meant to create a citywide strategic plan that will guide decision-making and investment throughout the community.

“Manhattan has never created a strategic plan focused solely on the responsibilities and initiatives of our City government,” said Jared Wasinger, Assistant to the City Manager. “This plan will help prioritize city services, programs, projects and future investments to continue making Manhattan a great place to live. City staff and the City Commission are asking the community to get involved and contribute their ideas and thoughts about how they want their city to run.”

The City said on Jan. 5, the City Commission unanimously approved an agreement with Planning NEXT, a strategic planning consultant from Columbus, Ohio, in order to help it undertake a community-led effort.

Manhattan said EngageMHK.org is its new engagement website where residents can stay informed on major projects and provide input and feedback to the City. It said the website will be the one-stop-shop for information about its strategic plan, including educational materials, public engagement dates and signups and multiple chances to provide online feedback throughout the 8-month process via online surveys and more.

To kick off the engagement process, the City said residents should take a quick online survey to tell it about their vision for Manhattan and the services it currently provides.

The survey can be found here.

Manhattan said community engagement for the planning process will start with a round of virtual public meetings during the week of March 22. It said residents that want to participate are invited to register for one of the following meetings:

  • Monday, March 22 – Noon-1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 23 – 7:30-8:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 24 – 7:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 25 – 6:00-7:00 p.m.

According to the City, anyone in the community can register for one of the four meetings on the project website.

To register for a meeting, click here.

The City said the meetings will be conducted via Zoom and facilitated by Planning NEXT, which will include information about the planning process, highlights of community research, breakout sessions for smaller group discussions and live polling opportunities for residents to provide feedback.

According to Manhattan, those that do not have access to technology for the virtual meetings, but want to participate in the first round of public engagement can contact the City Manager’s Office at City Hall, 1101 Poyntz Ave., in person or via phone at 785-587-2408.

The City said the second round of public engagement meetings is scheduled for May of 2021 and will be held in person if COVID-19 safety guidelines allow.

Manhattan said the strategic planning process will also be guided by a Community Project Committee which has 35 City Commission appointed members. It said the Committee held its first meeting on Thursday, Feb. 4, and is charged with representing City residents throughout the planning process and providing guidance and direction to staff and consultants in crucial steps in the process.

“The first community project committee meeting had great attendance and we received valuable insights and honest feedback from committee members on the process ahead,” said Wasinger.

According to Manhattan, over the next few weeks, the Community Committee will take care of the following tasks:

  • Identifying hard-to-reach groups in Manhattan
  • Identifying groups and organizations specifically connected hard-to-reach groups to reach out about CrossroadsMHK and encourage involvement

The City said the next meeting for the Community Project Committee is March 4, at 6 p.m. It said meetings will be broadcast live on the City’s website and Cox Cable Channel 3. It said live broadcasts and recordings of past meetings are available here.

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