‘Visioning’ meeting to set Rockdale goals

Patterson Center site for community gathering Thursday with facilitator, ideas

Rockdale 2022, a “visioning” session to establish goals for the community, is set for Thursday at the Patterson Civic Center with four entities urging public participation.

The Rockdale Municipal Development District (MDD), Rockdale Downtown Association, Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and the City of Rockdale are co-sponsoring the meeting.

The session begins with a finger-food “networking” dinner from 5 to 5:30, then continues with the visioning session, according to Tom Manskey, MDD executive director.

Facilitator will be Tom Stellman, president and CEO of TIP Strategies in Austin.

“It’s important to have a ‘neutral’ facilitator, someone from outside,” Manskey said.

The initial part of the session will be a brainstorming session with input needed from all in attendance.

“We’ll analyze Rockdale’s strength and weaknesses, talk about where we are and where we want to be and come up with ideas on how to get there,” Manskey said. “Everything grows out of that. What we’re mostly looking for is ideas.”

After the large session, the meeting will split into three smaller groups, each with a different facilitator.

“We’ll tackle different issues, hear ideas in a smaller format and discuss them,” Manskey said. “Then at some point, the facilitators will rotate and get with different groups so everyone can get an idea of where the meeting is headed.”

Manskey said the groups will combine for a final session at the end. “We’ll write down what consensus we’ve reached,” he said.

But that’s not the end, even though the meeting will be over.

“We will get a hard copy of the meeting for reference,” Manskey said. “Then it’s up to us, whether we want to form task forces or committees or come back with more large group meetings.”

“Everyone who is interested in the future of Rockdale is invited to bring your positive ideas and attend,” he said.

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