Ardmore citizens begin planning for the city's future

Drew Butler /
Citizens brainstorm ideas during the first session of Ardmore Vision 2025 Tuesday evening. These ideas will be used to create a set of community goals for the year 2025.

Dozens of community members gathered Tuesday evening at the Chickasaw Community Center to share ideas at the kick off of Ardmore Vision 2025. The event was the first of three sessions where citizens will come together to create a set of goals for Ardmore to achieve by the year 2025.

Vision 2025 is a follow up of Ardmore Vision 2020, a plan created in 2009. The plan was divided into eight categories: community, education, community infrastructure, economic development/local jobs, retail development/re-development, re-cycling/beautification, community relations and health care.

With 2020 soon to be upon us, seven of these eight categories have seen improvement and development. The only category that did not meet the goals set in place is that of community relations which failed to revive the Ardmore International Council and saw the Ministerial Alliance dissolved.

Ardmore Vision 2025 co-chair Daryle Voss said these eight categories will continue to be a part of the new plan.

“One of the great advantages of any visioning process is we can study the past, refine those goals, and see what’s still relevant,” Voss said. “We won’t be starting from scratch tonight. We’ll take a look at the plan we developed ten years ago and we’ll celebrate some of our successes and create our own Vision 2025.”

During the session, those in attendance took the time to make suggestions about the changes and improvements they would like to see in each of the categories. There was also a special “light bulb” category added for people to make suggestions that did not necessarily fit into any of the eight categories. The suggestions were then written on large, brightly colored sticky notes and attached to a flip chart. Jodi Lewis, director of legislative affairs for the Oklahoma Municipal League said the suggestions will be compiled and addressed at the next Vision 2025 session.

“Between now and two weeks from tonight, we’re going to compile everything that’s been generated here and put it into a summary document,” Lewis said. “At the next session we’re going to break up into vision areas and hopefully by subcategories within those areas. Some of these (categories) are too big to be at just one table, so we want you to sit in the area that you’re passionate about.”

The next two sessions for Vision 2025 will take place at the Chickasaw Community Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Tuesday, Oct. 29, and everyone is invited to contribute their ideas. The full summary report on Ardmore Vision 2020 will be posted on the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce website this morning.