FIRST ROUND OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT TO BE HELD IN MARCH
(MANHATTAN, KANSAS – February 23, 2021) “CrossroadsMHK: Shape what matters. Choose our path.” has been selected as the official name of the City of Manhattan’s 8-month strategic planning effort that began in January 2021. The project website - www.engagemhk.org/crossroads - is now live for the public to start engaging and providing input. In addition, the first round of public engagement meetings has been scheduled for the week of March 22.
CrossroadsMHK is an ambitious effort to develop a City-wide strategic plan to guide decision making and investment throughout the community.
“Manhattan has never created a strategic plan focused solely on the responsibilities and initiatives of our City government,” said Jared Wasinger, Assistant to the City Manager. “This plan will help prioritize city services, programs, projects and future investments to continue making Manhattan a great place to live. City staff and the City Commission are asking the community to get involved and contribute their ideas and thoughts about how they want their City to run.”
On January 5, 2021, the City Commission approved 5-0 an agreement with Planning NEXT, strategic planning consultant of Columbus, Ohio, to help the City undertake a community-led effort.
EngageMHK.org is the City of Manhattan’s new engagement website where residents can keep up-to-date on major initiatives and provide input and feedback to the city. The CrossroadsMHK project website will be the one-stop-shop for information about the City’s strategic plan including educational materials, public engagement dates and sign ups, and multiple opportunities to provide online feedback throughout the 8-month process through online surveys and more.
To kick off the engagement process, take a quick online survey today and tell us about your vision Manhattan and the services we provide: https://engagemhk.org/crossroads/survey_tools/survey
First Round of Public Engagement
Community engagement for the planning process will begin with a round of virtual public meetings during the week of March 22. People who wish to participate are invited to register for one of the following meetings dates and times:
- Monday, March 22 – Noon-1:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, March 23 – 7:30-8:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, March 24 – 7:00-8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, March 25 – 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Anyone in community can register for one of the four virtual public meetings on the project website: https://engagemhk.org/crossroads
Facilitated by Planning NEXT, the virtual meetings will be conducted via Zoom Web Conferencing, and will include information about the planning process, highlights of community research gathered by the consultants, along with breakout sessions for smaller group discussions and live polling opportunities for participants to provide feedback.
Anyone who does not have access to technology for virtual participation but wishes to participate in the first round of public engagement may contact the City Manager’s Office at City Hall, 1101 Poyntz Avenue, or by phone at 785-587-2408.
A second round of public engagement will be held in May 2021 and will be held in person if COVID safety guidelines allow.
Community Project Committee
The strategic planning process will be also guided by a 35-member Community Project Committee appointed by the City Commission. The Committee held its first meeting on Thursday, February 4. The committee is charged with representing Manhattan residents throughout the planning process and providing guidance and direction to staff and consultants at crucial steps in the process.
“The first community project committee meeting had great attendance and we received valuable insights and honest feedback from committee members on the process ahead,” said Wasinger.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the Community Committee has been charged with several tasks including:
- Identifying hard-to-reach groups in Manhattan
- Identifying groups/organizations they are specifically connected to and can reach out to about the CrossroadsMHK process and encourage people to get involved
The next meeting date for the Community Project Committee is Thursday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m. Meetings are broadcast live on the city’s website and Cox Cable Channel 3. Live broadcasts and recordings of past meetings are available at www.cityofmhk.com/tv.
The mission of the City of Manhattan is to sustain order and protect public safety, promote public health, preserve the built environment, and enhance economic vitality. The city supports a regional community in which individuals and families develop and thrive. More information about the City of Manhattan is available online at www.cityofmhk.com, on Facebook at /Cityofmanhattan and on Twitter @cityofmhk.