So far, the City of Kilgore’s Comprehensive Plan team has seen some strange age gaps in its feedback.
For example, Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck told council members Sept. 10, there’s healthy representation among the community’s 35- to 45-year-olds. There’s also been good insight from those 55 years-old to 65. However, not many people in the 45-55 range have weighed in.
“There are some really interesting dynamics that have come out through a demographic look.”
Granted, it’s early yet. There’s plenty of work ahead for the 10-year plan, and organizers are redoubling efforts to get as many people involved as possible.
“The comprehensive plan is off to an incredibly strong start,” Selleck said. “For those of you who have participated so far, thank you. For those of you who have not yet had an opportunity, please know that we are looking for your input.”
The City of Kilgore hosted its first town hall-style meeting on the project Aug. 22, drawing about 100 visitors to the old post office downtown.
There would have been even more participants, Selleck said, had many people not already provided insight before the event.
“A lot of people didn’t show up to that because we had just spent three days interviewing 30 stakeholder groups,” he said, ranging from organizations like Kilgore Chamber of Commerce and Kilgore Economic Development Corporation to church groups, civic organizations and others. “We had a number of different groups that we pulled together.
“The goal is to literally touch every cross-section of our community and to get an opportunity to hear them.”
The next step in the process is an October community survey, the exact date to be determined.
Notably, it will be bilingual.
“One of the challenges we have interfacing with about a third of our community, identifying as being Hispanic,” Selleck said. “Sometimes it’s difficult for the decision-makers in those households to give feedback because they’re primarily Spanish-speaking.
“They’re our residents, though. They make up about a third of our community, a third of our school district. So you’ll note that when we send out our survey, we’ll do it in both languages.”
To learn more about the comprehensive plan project, log on to clients.freese.com/Kilgore/.
“We’re doing great work on it,” Selleck concluded. “I encourage y’all to give input. If you seen anything about the comprehensive plan, please jump in, give us your opinion – we really do care.”