“Meetings In A Box” To Help Drive Thrive 2055

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Thrive 2055 Coordinating Committee is asking all individuals and stakeholders throughout the entire 16-county tri-state area of northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee to participate in shaping the region’s long-term growth strategy.

Throughout February and March, coordinators of Thrive 2055, a 40-year regional planning effort, are meeting with their colleagues, staff, peers and friends to engage in constructive dialogue about the region’s long-term growth strategy through the first round of a series of Meetings in a Box forums and asking everyone from throughout the tri-state community to do the same.

“Widespread public engagement will drive the Thrive 2055 process in its entirety,” said Bridgett Massengill, project manager for the initiative. “This means that in order for this process to be successful, we need everyone to participate, providing input that is fully inclusive and fully representative of all individuals living and working in our region.”

By providing individuals the option to get together with their peers according to their own schedules to talk about the future of the region, these opportunities work to enable more people to be engaged in the planning process.  With a meeting template of discussion questions and an online summary page at www.thrive2055.com, the materials are designed to facilitate small group brainstorming sessions to talk about issues and concerns most important to them about our region’s future.  Once the feedback is submitted, the responses will be shared with working groups pertaining to the particular issues that were discussed, and to the coordinating committee.  The information will be used to help shape Thrive 2055 based on the values of the people of the region.

Another public engagement strategy underway is to provide dedicated Thrive 2055 spokespeople to any interested community and civic group throughout the region to communicate the facts and latest developments of the process at their regularly-scheduled meetings. Over the last two months, representatives from Thrive 2055 have spoken to over 20 different groups representing nearly 700 individuals from throughout the 16-county region region, and are seeking additional opportunities.

“Our desire is to reach as many people as possible in the entire region and further encourage them to continue the dialogue by taking it back to their places of work, schools and homes,” said Brian Anderson, chairman of Thrive 2055 and president and CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. “This method is proving to be an effective and meaningful way to get people talking about the future of this region and empowering everyone to be the framers and decision makers for the next 40-years.”

Counties making up the Thrive 2055 region include, in Alabama: Jackson and DeKalb; in Georgia: Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Murray and Whitfield; and in Tennessee: Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie. 

For more information about how to host a “Meeting in a Box” or to request a Thrive 2055 speaker for a group or event, visit www.Thrive2055.com or call Bridgett Massengill at 423 648-2947.


Southside YMCA On The Market For $4.5 Million

The Spanish-style Southside YMCA is on the market for $4.5 million. Originally built in 1929, this four-story mixed-use building is located in the heart of Chattanooga's Southside District. There have been $2 million in improvements over the last five years to the building once known as the Industrial Y. It includes an indoor pool with locker rooms, a basketball ... (click for more)

THDA Grant Give To City Of Cleveland To Rehabilitate Older Homes

The city of Cleveland has received a $375,000 grant to help rehabilitate older homes. The funds come through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency as part of the 2015-2016 HOME program. The grant provides $40,000 for a single rehabilitation of a home, said Katie Moore, East Tennessee liason for THDA. She said the Southeast Tennessee Development District will administer ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Orders Walker County To Pay Erlanger $8,705,000, Plus Interest; Question Of Attorney Fees And Expenses To Go To Jury

Federal Judge Harold Murphy, in a 63-page ruling handed down Tuesday, ordered Walker County, Ga., to pay the Erlanger Health System $8,705,000, plus interest, on the Hutcheson Hospital debt. Judge Murphy, of Rome, Ga., said the question of attorney fees and expenses owed Erlanger by Walker County should be decided by a jury trial. Walker County and Catoosa County earlier agreed ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Problems With The Proposed Apartments In Lookout Valley

I am deeply troubled at the way in which this proposal has been handled. The blatant disregard for the residents of Kelly's Ferry Road and the wishes of the Lookout Valley Area Plan (which was adopted by the city in 2003) by Chip Henderson and Tommy Austin amazes me. Yes, there was a meeting of the Lookout Valley Neighborhood association in August, but it wasn't on its normal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)