Ears are in EDA’s DNA

The Economic Development Agency (EDA) was designed with ears. Listening is in EDA’s DNA.

The EDA is part of the bill that establishes the Destination Medical Center (DMC) project. This agency is formed to develop and market DMC and the bill states it “must collaborate with city, county, and other community representatives.”

Soon after the bill passed, and even before the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) or the EDA were formed, public participation in the planning process began. For example, last summer whiteboards at gatherings like Taste of Rochester and Thursdays on First and Third  “crowd sourced” ideas.  Then, at its November meeting, the DMCC board of directors, said – officially – this collaboration needs to be “vigorous, thorough and extensive.” The result: a more systematic public input process (more here).

Also in November 2013, the EDA posted proposal requests for development planners that requires they work in a collaborative process with other institutions, local governments and the community to establish the development plan.

As the EDA considers consultants for the planning process, it has taken the “must collaborate” that’s in the state law and the DMCC’s call for “vigorous, thorough and extensive” public participation and included these as a “key strategy” in the DMC development process. A strategy that includes “opportunities for visioning, information gathering and substantive input on the progress of the Development Plan through public forums, outreach activities and social media activities.”  Consultants working for the EDA are expected “to facilitate the public input process, develop materials and organize/incorporate feedback into the Development Plan.”

In February, a first phase of public input concluded.

In March, the DMCC added  public comments to its regular agenda.

This month, as the EDA brings its consultants online, “vigorous, thorough and extensive” opportunities for public participation will continue until the DMC development plan is approved by the city of Rochester and adopted by DMCC. A process that includes a 60 day period for public review and comment prior to approval and adoption.

Speak up. You’ll be heard. Ears are in EDA’s DNA.