Issues and Opportunities Report
Based on this feedback and consultant analysis, a draft Issues and Opportunities Report was released via an editable Google Word Document for public comment in October 2015. Posting the report as an online editable google document allowed stakeholders provide real-time feedback on what they see as issues and opportunities in Trenton. Equally important, the interactive nature of the document allowed participants to review the feedback of and interact with fellow community members. Additionally, staff hosted an Open Door Session, where individuals could walk in and speak to Trenton250 Representatives on a one-on-on basis to ask questions about, make comments on, or discuss the report.
Building on the information received in the Issues and Opportunities Report, the Trenton250 team conducted a Goals Vetting Tour from February 2016 through June 2016 to present draft goals and receive feedback from the community. During these presentations, the team presented the Preliminary Goals, the Vision Map, and the Approach Map and participants were able to work in small groups with City staff to make comments or suggestions. This tour included meetings with the Planning Board, Zoning Board, Civic Associations, Stakeholders, various community groups, and the public. The materials were also available on the Plan’s website along with a weekly information table in City Hall’s atrium to garner feedback. The Team presented at over 20 meetings with an approximate exposure to 250 individuals in person during the tour without counting the passive information table in the Atrium and website feedback.
Public Comments on Draft Reports
The final stage of public outreach within Phase II included two rounds of public comments. The first round in July 2016 coincided with the release of “Report Briefs.” Then in December 2016, a final draft of the complete plan was released for a 30 day public comment period.
The briefs introduced draft goals and strategies associated with each topic reports. The intent was to release initiative level recommendations early, so that participants had a chance to recommend changes before too much time and effort was invested. This early brief allowed residents an opportunity to suggest new initiatives or actions, or provide input on those recommended. Many of the comments were directly incorporated into the final Plan. Equally important, participants were able to give the Trenton250 Team more information about the various recommendations. As a result, the Reports not only reflected the ideas of the public but the public made the ideas of the Trenton250 Team stronger.
A first full draft of the Report was also released for public comment. These reports were more robust and included a complete set of actions, district plans, and detailed maps. These drafts allowed residents to have a complete plan on which to comment.
Over the course of the two public comment periods, staff received over 430 pages of comments from over 60 respondents that included residents, organizations, and governmental entities. Staff was also able to talk directly with many stakeholders and residents about their specific concerns.