Destination Erie: A Regional Vision FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Q.     What is Destination Erie: A Regional Vision?

A. It’s a planning process that involves citizens and leaders from Erie County and beyond to create a common vision, strategies, and actions to meet the challenges facing the region in the 21st century.  The final product will be a plan reflecting the values of the entire Erie County community, from residents of the City of Erie to the county’s smaller towns and townships.  A diverse consortium of local organizations involved through the work groups will help build support and implement the plan going forward.


Q.     How is the leadership organized for Destination Erie: A Regional Vision?

A. The plan is driven by community input and guided by a consortium of over 72 local and regional leaders.  The consortium includes representatives from Erie County’s townships, boroughs, and cities; economic and community development organizations; cultural and educational institutions; and environmental and community health organizations.  The project is being led by a Steering Committee, with guidance from the Consortium Leadership Team (CLT), Work Groups, and Community Engagement Task Force.  A separate Project Management Team handles the day to day work for the project, in close coordination with the consultants. Click here to see the project organizational chart.


Q.     How exactly is my input going to be USED? (Where does it go? What happens to it?  How does the consultant team and the leadership group actually use it to shape the work product(s) during a particular round?)

A. All of the information collected is provided to the consultant team.  It is summarized and incorporated into the different phases of the plan.  The community input is used to directly inform the vision themes, scenario development, goals, strategies, and actions of the plan.  For example: 

Round 1 of the planning process was about gathering information.  The community was asked to describe the region’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities for the future.  WRT (lead consultant) collected all of the responses and synthesized them into 13 common ideas.  These ideas were then collapsed further into 6 “vision themes,” which will be used to create the full vision statement for review at Public Workshop #2.


Q.     How will the plan actually be created?  (E.g., who is actually drafting the goals and objectives – and how will the various groups review/provide input/react to shape it? What is the decision making body that will ultimately decide what ends up in the plan?)

A. The consultant team takes all of the ideas received and drafts the plan, its goals, objectives, and actions.  The Consortium Leadership Team (CLT) and five project Work Groups provide comments and recommendations for revision.  The CLT and Steering Committee will both approve and endorse the final plan.


Q.     What role do the consultants’ recommendations play in the content of the plan?

A. The Consortium hired a consultant team, with national and local planning expertise, to draft the plan and help facilitate the process.  The consultant team will draw on their national experience with similar planning efforts and knowledge of effective community development practices. To ensure the plan’s strategies and actions make sense for the region, local Work Groups are helping develop, and will eventually implement, the plan.


Q.     What happens once the plan is written?

A. As the plan is being written part of the process is to build support for implementation.  The project’s Consortium includes many public, private, and nonprofit groups, who through the project Work Groups and other activities will take ownership for implementing the plan’s recommendations. This effort will provide the basis for Erie County comprehensive plan and other municipal planning efforts as well.


Q.     Why is it important for me to participate?  Why is it important for me to encourage family members, friends and coworkers to participate?

A. To ensure the region’s future prosperity a long-range vision and action plan is needed.  We need to hear from you to make sure the future vision and plan represents your voice.  The region’s success depends on our ability to deepen collaboration and define the future in a way that is sustainable – and sets the Erie region apart in today’s competitive global economy.