Manchester group looks to develop five-year plan

The Manchester Community Council’s June meeting proved much more productive than the past few as members and Manchester residents grouped off to focus their efforts on their key goals for the community.

Comments from last March’s town hall meeting were perviously gathered under five subject headers — regaining the village’s historic character, revitalizing the village “center,” partnering with key agencies, establishing recreational venues and developing a village “commons.”

President Bob Ballard said in April he wanted to form committees for each of the topics in order to better address issues such as beautification and history, underground utilities, development of business base, building standards, transportation, trails and a community center — to name a few.

“It was really successful,” said secretary John Winslow. “We had 31 people set up, we got our five subgroups started and five or six people volunteered for each of the groups.”

Winslow said one group wants to begin meeting as much as once a week.

“We were all pleased with the enthusiasm showed to the community,” Winslow said. “We got some great input and ideas and we are poised to move forward.”

Move forward, Winslow said, toward the fall, when the group hopes to make a presentation of its five-year-plan.

“We’re still focusing on trying to develop a five year plan to present at a meeting this fall,” Winslow said.

In order to accomplish the goals set for the next five years, Winslow said, the council will have to better learn how to negotiate with Kitsap County.

Ballard pointed out in April the need to present a strong front to the county.

“We need to get unified and we need to get organized,” Ballard said. “We want to be on the county’s radar screen for services, and we can’t do that until we get organized.

“We need to be cognizant about these things,” Ballard said. “We need to be straight up so the County will listen. All we can do is make recommendations to the county.”

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