The Fall 2018 insight2050 Academy covered a lot of ground – in more ways than one.

Of 17 participants, 11 were from Fairfield, Hocking, and Perry counties. There also were three from Delaware, one from the Hilltop area of Columbus, one from Licking County, and one from Jefferson Township. They made three site visits – Newark, Grove City, and Marysville – and the trips to Newark and Grove City included downtown walking tours on sunny mornings.

The six-session academy was designed primarily for elected and appointed officials from smaller communities and those from largely rural counties. Themes of the various sessions included: insight2050 population and demographic overview; downtown and neighborhood revitalization; economic development and housing strategies; intergovernmental and public-private collaboration; zoning and density; and public engagement.

From a data and information standpoint, the ground they covered included:

  • An overview of projected population growth and demographic changes
  • Linking infrastructure and redevelopment projects in downtown Newark
  • Economic development and housing strategies
  • Collaboration within and among communities, and across the public and private sectors
  • The role of zoning in Grove City’s long-term plans for 21st Century growth
  • Communication: engaging the community and developers;

Joe St. John, a city council member in Sunbury, said he learned a lot at the academy and singled out the walking tour of downtown Newark as a highlight. The city’s stormwater sewer project evolved to encompass downtown beautification, roundabouts, traffic calming, and pedestrian safety. Mayor Jeff Hall explained that the project attracted private investment in and around downtown that led to a renaissance in urban living.

Greg Fraunfelter, mayor of Logan, in Hocking County, said he found the sessions very valuable. He added that he hoped to keep in touch with fellow participants and academy speakers as he works to engage residents in shaping the city’s future.

The graduates are:

  • Mike Anderson, Jefferson Township, development director
  • Joy Davis, Hocking County CIC, executive director
  • Brad Ebersole, Delaware County, Consolidated Cooperative
  • Greg Fraunfelter, City of Logan, mayor
  • David Hansen, Somerset Innovation Gateway, executive director
  • Kristy Hawthorne, Licking County Soil & Water Conservation District, program assistant
  • Betty Jaynes, Westgate Neighbors, president
  • Bob Lamb, Delaware County, economic development director
  • Audrey Martin, Hocking Hills Tourism, deputy director
  • James Martin, Hocking Hills Tourism, communications director
  • Heidi Milnor, Village of Roseville, chief fiscal officer
  • Karen Raymore, Hocking Hills Tourism, executive director
  • Fred Redfern, Village of Crooksville, mayor
  • David Scheffler, City of Lancaster, mayor
  • Joe St. John, City of Sunbury, council member
  • Joe Taylor, Village of Lithopolis, mayor
  • Amanda Wolin, Village of Lithopolis, zoning inspector