There's an old proverb that goes something like this: A vision without a plan is just a dream; a plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.
As the Summit County Council hunkers down in these last days of December, preparing the budget for 2013, the council is of course looking to balance the budget. I have heard quite a bit of wondering aloud about where funds can be cut, and from where these presumed savings can be located.
Unfortunately, the Summit County Planning Department has become an easy target. Why do we need planners on county staff? The building boom has faded and there could not possibly be that much work. Let us alleviate some of those positions to create more funds for the 2013 budget, right?
Think this through.
There is not much that we do as humans without a plan. We plan for our trip to the grocery store, plan for our weekend fun, plan for our hike or mountain bike, plan for dinner with the family. Everything has a plan.
The future of our community deserves a plan. It deserves a clear direction, guidelines for future developments, transportation and traffic plans, sustainability plans and an understanding as to how to effectively grow our ever-expanding Basin.
Long-range planning and sustainable growth are managed so that everyone in the community benefits. We benefit from planning by identifying growth areas and developing tools to incentivise development in those areas. We plan to cluster future growth into thoughtful, walkable and serviceable communities. But we cannot plan for any of this without a strong planning staff in the Planning Department.
This is our Basin, our community, and we deserve a well-thought-out, professional and long-range plan.