Focus Group Data • From a County to a Community • Strategic Plan
Each person in the Mahaska Community is a member of several governmental entities such as school districts, county, hospitals and, in many cases, cities. Each entity meets regularly on its own to discuss spending, finances, priorities, needs and dreams focused primarily on their service area. Additionally, other entities such as William Penn University, the Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group, Ag and Rural Development, Mahaska Community Recreation Foundation and others in the private sector meet regularly focusing on specific areas of interest or service. At one time, Mahaska FutureView, Mahaska Alliance, the community/government roundtable and Team Mahaska were all meeting, where many similar issues were being discussed by many of the same people.
By October and November of 1999, members of all these groups discussed using their time more effectively and reducing duplication of efforts. After consideration, Mahaska Alliance and Team Mahaska agreed to merge and meet as Team Mahaska. Representatives from Mahaska cities, governmental entities and interest groups realized sharing information and exploring the possibilities of working together can and will affect the positive change in the Mahaska Community for which each individually strives.
Fifty focus groups, performed by Team Mahaska members, with more than 700 people attending, made it clear they want to see cooperative efforts among governmental entities. They also want to know background information about proposed projects. The initial goals of Team Mahaska were to work with the governmental members of the Mahaska Community – cities, county and school districts – to identify the project needs of each partner. From this, a prioritization could be established. From that list, a joint plan could be developed to allow the taxpayers of the Mahaska Community to evaluate plans and methods of funding from a full-picture perspective.
A plan was created and many of the items identified have come to fruition. This web site is a result of those initial conversations and the planning process. More needs to be done to assure the Mahaska Community is sustained for this generation and those to come. How can we make that happen? Become informed, stay involved, and continue to care.