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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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September 18, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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September 18, 2014

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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-21 ~, i!! I~ ~ ......... i ~; ~' ~!~i ~ :::~::iii: ~ EDC to schedule community forums By LLOYD MULLEN Iloyd@masoncoun com Build a business plan, and they will come. Reid Vasek, development associate, for the Mason County Economic Development Council (EDC), said he's expecting to see more business to Mason County. Or at least, he said, he intends to help the county build a plan to bring new business. The EDC has scheduled a kick-off event to explain its strategic planning process for the county at PUD 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 30. The objective of the event, Vasek said, is to create public interest in the Community Strategic Plan and to recruit volunteers to help facilitate focus groups at what the council calls Asset Mapping meetings. The purpose of the strategic plan, according to a release from the EDC, is to address priority concerns and issues for Mason County citizens at the local level. "This community-based approach is the keystone to involving people, over time, as co-creators and co- learners in defining the desired outcomes of the com- munity, discovery and defmition of the issues to be addressed, and creating and implementing solutions to the issues of concern," the press release states. Executive Assisant Jennifer Baria said the goal isn't to just focus on the county's negative attributes. "We're going to focus on them and find out how to make them positive," she said. "There is quite a negative perspective of Mason County. How do you engage the citizens to make that a positive, in and outside of the community? How do we take a nega- tive and build it into something that can be posi- tively seen?" "We want as many people as possible to come to this event," Vasek said. "During the process, we're going to try to get a lot of volunteers to help us with this. They are going to have a chance to help with the county's future." Volunteers at the event will facilitate the Asset Mapping forums. The EDC plans to hold six community forums spanning the next few months to cover the Asset Mapping objectives of identifying and acknowledg- ing talents and resources available in Mason County and identifying ways to use community talents and resources to develop the local economy. "We're going to stress everything that is going to help the economy," Vasek said. "We're going to get as many ideas as possible. After we get the ideas, Reid Vasek sits at his desk at the Mason County interview Tuesday. |I Ui i || Ill Jennifer Baria, executive assistant, Mason County EDC we're going to have a meeting to decide how to le- verage our assets and prioritize them. How to retain and enhance businesses. We're going to use this as a Journal photo by Lloyd Mullen Economic Development Council office during an guideline to retain and recruit businesses." Vasek said the EDC plans to have a draft of the strategic plan done by Dec. 29. After the plan has been published, Vasek said, the EDC will hold wrap- up meetings spanning the next 60 days that will be open for public discussion. "We are going to come up with the strategic plan for the county," he said. "We're going to come up with objectives and find out how the county can reach those objectives." Meetings will take place in Belfair, Allyn, Shelton, Hoodsport and Matlock. Vasek said he wants to get the word out to the people of Mason County. "Do you have any ideas of how to make this great place even better? Now's your chance," he said. For more information on Mason County EDC, go to masonedc.com or call 426-2276.