Town-wide meeting draws large crowd

Results of survey, prioritizing goals for Warwick's future, expected early next year

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— More than 150 Warwick residents attended the Community Voices meeting at the Warwick Middle School on Monday, Dec. 11.

The crowd represented a cross section of the villages and hamlets that make up the larger Warwick community: Farmers, artists, merchants, musicians, commuters and local government officials.

That meeting was one of the key events in the Community Visioning project that has been going on since late summer. Those who came were asked to do two things:

First, to vote, using electronic keypads, on which goals they felt were most important to the entire community; and

Second to suggest possible “game-changing ideas” for Warwick.

While the complete results of the voting and the idea-generating won’t be known officially for a few weeks, positive ideas have already emerged about things such as improved zoning for balanced growth, better pedestrian access and safety, bike lanes and infrastructure improvements.

Working togetherOne of the strongest outcomes of the meeting was the sense that if the entire town were to grow in the best way, it would take a balance of government action and increased civic engagement.

That hoped-for civic engagement was evident at the meeting. As the meeting closed, 90 percent of those in attendance said they were willing to get involved in helping the vision process move forward and 86 people signed individual pledge cards detailing how they were willing to help.

What happens nowOnce Community 2000 and the Visioning Steering Committee have reviewed and organized the data by category, action teams will be formed — some governmental, some community-based, some mixed — to determine how best to make these ideas become reality.

“The momentum building behind this project is inspiring," said Steering Committee member Erika Grizzanti. "In early 2018, we expect to leverage the commitment by our four local governments, the thousands of community-generated ideas and our new volunteers to create actionable plans for our future."

"I'd encourage everyone," Grizzanti added, "to volunteer and/or stay involved by joining our facebook group or frequenting our website."

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