Listening to large numbers of small groups of people from throughout the Mahaska Community, Team Mahaska learned much of what residents want for their future. Between December, 1999, and May, 2000, more than 50 focus groups with 700 participants were held across the Mahaska Community. The attendees came from the rural areas and the smaller and larger community neighborhoods. View a PDF of the Focus Group Data.
The process of soliciting opinions involved listing opportunities related to education, roads, schools, recreation, healthcare, etc., in the county and asking participants to indicate whether they supported the opportunities. Then, participants were asked to prioritize the opportunities they supported. During the discussions, information was provided about the opportunities and challenges facing the Mahaska community, the costs of the projects to address the opportunities and challenges, and available options to pay for the projects.
Participants gave their opinions about the opportunities available and talked about their hopes and dreams for the community. They also expressed their concerns and frustrations. Team Mahaska members used this information to set goals and create plans consistent with the communities’ interests and desires.