Thanks to continued participation from the municipal officials of the Central Planning District, with just three meetings complete, we are beginning to understand what drives the Central Westmoreland team. Although each community has its own unique and separate characteristics, many also overlap and inform the Central Planning District as a whole.
At the February 23rd meeting, we asked municipal officials to participate in a team WIKI (“What I Know Is”) exercise where participants paired up to ask each other a series of questions, practicing curiosity to get a better understanding of what makes fellow team members tick. From this exercise, it is clear that Central Westmoreland team members share several of the same values, motivations, and expectations of others.
Results from the team WIKI were shared at the March 24th meeting. Together, we learned that the most important things to the Central Westmoreland team are community, safety, and quality of life. We also learned that the Central Westmoreland team gets energy from community participation and tackling projects that make a difference. Compiling team statements helped to summarize what was learned from the exercise. These statements generally fall into four buckets: honesty, sincerity, participation, and respect.
The Central Westmoreland team is one that:
Don’t forget to join us at the next meeting on Thursday, April 28th, 2022, at 6:00 PM at the Unity Township municipal building, located at 154 Beatty County Road, Latrobe, PA 15650. Municipal officials can RSVP here.
Apathy or aspiration. Defeatism or determination. Settle for and maintain the status quo or spurred to affect change.
One of the exciting things about Reimagining Our Westmoreland is the notion of reimagining. To think about something we know in a different way. This can be done concerning both where we live, and how we lead.
At the last meeting, we briefly discussed “communities of choice” or “choice communities” outside of the county and region. With respect to today’s technology and remote working options – why would someone live here? However, the Central District (and greater county), is home to various places – all with something to offer. Whether it’s Amenities, Beauty, Character, or the rest of a quality & place-based alphabet, it’s there. Has it been nurtured and developed and is well-displayed? Or is there untapped potential? And it’s important to note that not every community has to have or be everything, but rather they can support and complement each other. Otherwise, we’d all be the same.
As local leaders, how do we get to that place – both, the quality community and place we want to be, and also the impactful leader we’re called to be? It can be challenging to think of governance in a new and imaginative way. One way to do so is to think about a definition of good governance that is made up of two parts: a technical part, and an adaptive part.
The technical part is embodied by the practices and procedures to get the work of local government done, ranging from administration to infrastructure to planning. Numerous aspects of local government are practical and important. And practical doesn’t mean easy.
The adaptive part may be less familiar, but it is equally important! It’s where we have a transformed view and solve problems. It is where local government’s work is relevant and valuable to residents in an ever-changing world. It is where we reimagine.
But in a sense, we are the same. As you may have noticed during our meetings and discussions thus far, the issues, challenges, and tasks we’re facing as local leaders are quite similar. And that’s the value of this Planning District process. As we continue, a host of technical and adaptive topics may come up. Two important things to remember are: 1) Reimagining is about how we look at things and adapt to our circumstances; and 2) As we look at both the technical and adaptive sides of local government, is what is important meaningful for the communities involved?
As we go through the Planning District process we’ll explore how we can lead and plan differently – what do you want your community to be, and how do we get there.
At the March 24, 2022 meeting we will review what constitutes and drives the Central Planning District as a team and the results and findings from the municipal surveys. This will help with both the technical and the adaptive aspects of future agendas.
Reminder, survey responses are due March 18. Complete the survey here.
All elected and appointed officials are vital contributors to the discussion. Please RSVP for our next meeting here.