Lawrence’s strategic planning process starts with a dose of local history

At the end of city leaders’ first strategic planning meeting, a timeline of sticky notes ranging from the Bleeding Kansas era to Rock Chalk Park hung on the wall.

The exercise was one of several during the approximately three-hour strategic planning meeting held Friday, and one Mayor Leslie Soden found particularly helpful in considering the various factors that have shaped the city.

“Right now, I’m just a person in a certain time and a certain place, and so I feel like my impact is quite limited,” Soden said. “I would like it to be larger than what it is, and so it’s important to be able to see the longer impact that people can have on periods of time.”

Soden said that ability is key as local leaders prepare to develop the framework of the city’s first strategic plan, which will lay out what they want the city to look like in the future and specific steps to get there.

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