Community committees named by AEDI, Steering panel

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
As the survey results from the the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) were unveiled last week, the six key “Community Committees” were identified and named Monday afternoon during a joint meeting of AEDI officials and local steering committee members at Hempstead Hall.
“Public Projects,” “Tourism,” “Economic Development,” “Quality of Life,”
“Education,” and “Community” were named as the committees covering those specific subject areas.
Much of the discussion after the committee announcements revolved around recruiting interested parties to apply and serve on the six committees. Names of committee co-chairs were still pending Monday afternoon and are projected to be named later this week.
Similar to the original AEDI survey, the applications will be available to fill out online at the AEDI website, and paper copies will be made available at various locations in the county.
Hope City Manager Catherine Cook offered that Hope City Hall could be a site for both hard copies, and to setup a dedicated computer where potential applicants could apply directly at City Hall.
AEDI Deputy Director Randy Wright, Community Development Specialists Mike Gerfen and April Campbell were all back in Hope on Monday speaking with the local steering committee.
Campbell outlined the structure of the process with a series of three-hour meetings once a month from May to November. A final public report with the proposed five-year strategic plan will be presented in a public meeting in November.
The concern expressed again was diversity of involvement as well as in chairmanship of the committees. Hispanics, African-Americans, females and young people were again identified as key demographics to get involved at both the leadership and committee membership levels.

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