A group of 21 Linn County residents have been chosen to create a list of 15 goals the county can accomplish in the next five years. It’s believed to be a unique approach for guiding a county. The president of the Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation, Dan Baldwin, is one of the people who helped organize the committee. He says the process of “15 in five” has been going on for some time. He says the Cedar Rapids Chamber and the foundation felt they’re halfway through the decade and should come up with a list of things to accomplish. Baldwin says the 21 people were chosen from the 145 who applied. He says they’re pleased that so many people want to get involved. He says it’s not going to be an easy job as there are more than 15-hundred ideas for them to sort through. He says they hope to accomplish the task in the next four months. He says the committee will start meeting next week, and they’re negoitiating with a facilitator to help the committee come up with a process. He says they hope to complete the list by the end of April. Baldwin says they’ll appoint some subcommittees of the people who applied and weren’t chosen for the main committee, and those groups will work with some of the ideas that aren’t chosen in the top 15. He says that’ll include something like the top 50 ideas, so if they capture someone’s imagination, they can be looked at too. Baldwin says the area’s chamber alliance and his foundation will be charged with seeing the top 15 put into action. He says not all of the ideas are capital projects like building a football stadium. He says some are ideas like building a healthier community, and he says some are simple things that don’t take a lot of money. Baldwin believes this is the first such effort of its kind in Iowa, and says one other city has contacted them to consider using the same approach.
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