Many useable ideas have come from the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission's community brainstorming meeting held last month.
In September, the commission invited community residents to the Sarita Weeks Room in the Arts and Sciences Building at Jamestown Community College. Community residents provided ideas that could enhance the community when it comes to arts and culture; health and well-being/public safety; economic vitality; education; and community engagement.
During the commission's monthly meeting in October, they discussed some of the ideas from the public meeting. One topic discussed was the local arts community. Paul Leone, local writer and storyteller, said he believes the arts community in Jamestown is very noticeable. As a performer, he said he receives plenty of support from the local community. He even received a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for a performance at the Robert H. Jackson Center.
"Jamestown is very supportive of the arts," he said.
The commission agreed that a leader from the arts community should be part of the Strategic Planning and Partnership Commission.
Under public safety, the group talked about housing. Greg Lindquist, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation executive director, said they are looking for new neighborhoods to help with a revitalization program. He said there might even be a neighborhood project for the first time in the downtown area of the city. Neighborhoods around the city have been coming together on revitalization projects in recent years with funding assistance from the JRC.
Jennifer Gibson, Strategic Planning and Partnership Commission co-chair, said housing issues have always been one of the main areas of concern for people during past brainstorming sessions. She said this year its seems housing wasn't one of the bigger issues discussed during the public meeting. She said people must be noticing the projects and the work done around the city to improve housing.
"The perception is changing," she said.
Under education, Max Martin, Eastside YMCA branch manager, suggested talking to local businesses about hiring a high school student as a part-time worker. He does a program with a high school student at the Eastside YMCA to teach the responsibilities associated with having a job.
"It is an introduction for a high school student," he said.
It was suggested the commission should learn more about city apprenticeship and internship programs to get young people learning about different careers. Martin said he feels the Jamestown Public School District is always willing to open its doors and listen to ideas.
Gibson said the next step for the group is to contact a leader from the arts community to work with the commission and to contact educators about possible apprenticeship and internship programs.
The Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission is a volunteer group that meets throughout the year to study and discuss various methods of improving life in the community. The group forms smaller "action teams" to progress the goals set by the commission.