Background & Phases

Community Visioning Process

Golden Valley's community visioning process began in 1997. At the City's request, Decision Resources, Ltd (DRL) prepared a detailed three-phase plan for a Community Visioning process that would include neighborhood focus groups, a community-wide survey, and a town meeting wrap-up event. In 1999, the City conducted a community-wide citizen survey to provide comparisons with a 1995 citizen survey and to set benchmarks for future visioning.

Phase One - Neighborhood Focus Groups

Phase One (conducted late summer/fall 2001) began with a series of neighborhood focus groups designed to solicit input from randomly selected citizens on pre-selected topics as well as other topics that came up during the sessions. Council and staff provided ideas for the pre-selected topics based on the frequency of issues that arose over the years in public meetings and contact with citizens. DRL helped the City designate populations for the random selection process, prepare a discussion guide, and facilitate the focus groups. DRL then provided a detailed analysis of each group.

Phase Two - Telephone Survey

Phase Two (conducted December 2001) was a random sample, statistically valid survey of the community to test the issues raised in the focus groups and provide benchmark measurements of the state of the city. The survey included 400 randomly selected households and 129 questions.

Phase Three - Community Visioning

For Phase Three, DLR proposed a town meeting event in which the entire community would be invited to participate in discussion and brainstorming activities regarding the topics raised in the focus groups and validated in the community survey. This was cut from the budget in February 2002 but reinstated in 2003 under a revised format in partnership with the Golden Valley Rotary.

The new format included a significant citizen participation component and a variety of ways to gather ideas. More than 70 trained Envision volunteers asked their fellow citizens about their hopes and ideas for their city's future in six overlapping categories determined by volunteers (development, transportation, community engagement, environment, recreation, and government). When challenged to think about Golden Valley's future, more than 600 people responded.

  1. Development
  2. Transportation
  3. Environment
  4. Recreation
  5. Government
  6. Community Engagement
  • How do we encourage people to be more active in community events? How should organizations like libraries, places of worship, and community agencies encourage community engagement?
  • How can businesses improve their relationship with citizens?
  • What will encourage local-business loyalty and patronage?
  • What role should schools play in community engagement? In what other areas can community members find unity and common cause?