By Thea Skinner
Triplicate staff writer
A need for engagement of people at all levels of the community in open dialogue was expressed at a public forum on planning the future of Del Norte County on Tuesday.
This has been a reoccurring theme at the city council meeting Monday and the Future Scenario Planning Session workshops on the weekend.
"What (economic prosperity) takes is thousands of people becoming mobilized in social movements," said David Beurle of Innovative Leadership Australia. "It has got to be grassroots and come from the community. (Chamber and city representatives) are looking for partners."
"How do we start to think further into the future than beer o'clock (5 p.m. after work)?" he asked.
"Community means common unity. Perhaps there is not a community here," he said recalling about four Del Norte High School seniors who told him that if he wanted to make a difference to go somewhere else.
"They do not see people caring in the community. Their plea was that those who care come together and think boldly. Community involves nurturing relationships and having thoughtful discussions," said Beurle.
For this reason, the best public relations for the emerging economic prosperity plan is word of mouth.
The process of community is poorly understood in this area. It is a process of networks and communication, not a person in charge of things, he said.
"What's going to make a difference is anyone who sees a pathway to prosperity. The community has to give itself the permission to become self-leaders."
He said that the public and community representatives want Del Norte County to become "the land of the plenty senerio."
"This scenario is positive. People work out how to build the community and have an entrepreneurial spirit," said Beurle.
He explained that the key drivers to focus on to shape the desired scenario are community cohesion and entrepreneurial environment, along with a civic infrastructure.
"These things could increase or decrease. It could get worse," he said.
Connie Loden of the Heart of Wisconsin Project expressed her thoughts on the workshop.
"The community showed that they very much want to take action to move towards the preferred scenario and build the entrepreneurial skills needed to provide new pathways for people to generate prosperity," she said.
Chamber President Chris Howard brought Loden and Beurle to Crescent City to foster a cultural change that the public forum and workshops addressed.
"Just by you showing up, you have demonstrated that there is enough spirit here to create a change," he said.
"We are going to attempt to drive this forward and give you the opportunity to sit down and converse with people to do this. There needs to be an outlet for those energies to occur," he said referring to the community's support for youth in town.
Howard urged those in attendance to offer suggestions to name the emerging economic prosperity initiative.