Sisters Country faces a number of demographic, economic, environmental and technological trends that are driving us into the future. Without a clear sense of direction, we run the risk of reacting to change and losing the things about our community we love the most. That’s why the City of Sisters teamed up with Deschutes County and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) to sponsor the Sisters Country Vision.
Sisters Country Vision is a community visioning project designed to help Sisters Country position itself for the future – retaining the things we value most while considering what we may need to change going forward. This community conversation helps us identify clear, positive directions for the future and involve local organizations, businesses and residents in making them happen.
The Sisters Country Vision visioning process was active throughout 2018. Community engagement began in March and ran through September, focusing on creation of a vision for our community. In the fall the project began working on an action plan to help implement the vision. This plan is now complete and implementation projects are underway in all four vision focus areas – from “low hanging fruit” to more ambitious projects.
A Project Management Team (PMT) representing the City, County, COIC, citizens-at-large, and the Project Consultant (NXT Consulting Group) led Sisters Country Vision. In late summer 2018 a citizen-based Vision Action Team (VAT) was formed to guide development of the community’s vision action plan. Thirty-one VAT members from across Sisters Country and all backgrounds helped shape the plan. In summer 2019, the Vision Implementation Team (VIT) was formed. The VIT is made up of representatives from all organizations listed as a lead partner on three or more action items in the vision action plan, plus one youth and one community at-large member. The VIT is tasked with helping to prioritize projects, secure funding, communicate progress to the community, and help dissolve barriers to progress.
The following Guiding Principles reflect our philosophy of public engagement for the Sisters Country Vision visioning process:
- Open, Inclusive. An open process that welcomes all community members and perspectives.
- Transparent. A transparent process that promotes trust, authentic expression, and the free exchange of ideas.
- Objective. An objective process based on accurate data and reliable information.
- Collaborative. A collaborative partnership that supports trust, dialogue, and ownership.
- Civil. A conversation that allows everyone to hear and be heard in a respectful, courteous way.
- Creative. A creative process that inspires curiosity and discovery.
- Visionary. A long-term vision that provides strategic direction and links to the future.
- Action-Oriented. An action plan that ensures the vision is achieved now and in the future.
- Sustainable. A plan that is accessible and enduring, ensuring on-going implementation over time.