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Poland Village creating a plan for the long-term

December 4, 2019
By Anthony Suszczynski , The Town Crier

Village council member Anthony Lattanzio wants to begin planning for the future of Poland Village.

It's only in the beginning stages, but his idea to create a strategic planning committee was approved on Sept. 3 after council unanimously voted to establish it.

Lattanzio hopes his plan can serve as a long-term guide for both current and future council members and also village residents, local businesses, and other groups within the community.

Lattanzio said the purpose of the committee is to, "engage residents and other village stakeholders in a public study and discussion process to create a long-term strategic plan and governmental agenda. This will be used by village officials as it plans and prioritizes various goals in a transparent and accountable manner to keep the village a great place to live, work, and do business."

He continued: "Some potential discussion points will include identifying and enhancing our community's distinctive and appealing properties, zoning enhancements and enforcement methods, revision of current village governmental structure, beautification initiatives, local business encouragement and promotional strategies, potential property annexations, new community functions and events, comprehensive revision of codified ordinances, community walk-ability improvements, and innovative community promotional strategies."

Mayor Tim Sicafuse on Nov. 19 appointed 13 members to the committee himself; three members of Poland Village Council, Anthony Lattanzio, Martha Morgan and J. Michael Thompson;village solicitor

Jay Macejko; fiscal officer Bob Canter; and seven at-large village residents, Jenna Farina, Allison Dunham, Mike Massucci, Dave Smith, Dr. Ron Prizant, Mark Thompson and Rex Fisher.

The committee's first meeting will take place around mid-January, according to Lattanzio, and will help to get plans and goals organized.

Lattanzio is one of six council representatives for Poland village and has been serving for nearly two years. The 23-year-old said he came up with the idea after following a strategic plan that was put into place by Poland schools.

"The school district did something like two or three years ago, before I ran for council and it was a group of like a hundred of us, it started as. And we slowly got down to committees and we did some stuff and tried to get a game plan for the schools," he said.

In February another meeting will take place and the public is encouraged to attend. It will be hosted at the Poland library.

"We're gonna invite every one of these groups and say, 'Send a representative, you know, bring a cohort or whatever, and give us any feedback, any ideas, any long-term dreams, big idea, everything you got and tell us. You know, anything you want changed, anything you don't like, everything. And then we'll go from there.'"

Lattanzio says the purpose of that meeting will be to get feedback from residents and organizations and also to allow for direction. Among those to be invited, he said, are: Poland Village Gardeners, Poland Women's Club, Junior Women's Club, Poland Business Association, Lions Club, Rotary, Poland Local Schools , Poland Historical Society, American Legion Post 15, Poland Presbyterian Church, Poland Village Baptist Church, Friends of Poland Municipal Forest, Walgreens and local banks.

"I'm young. I'm gonna go to med school soon. I said I want there to at least be something that'll carry on long enough that we have some structure and I can at least feel accomplished, and all of us on the board right now can feel accomplished to the point where we at least set something up that's gonna make a real difference," said Lattanzio. "Let's get an actual game plan, and try to get some good timelines and see what's reasonable and go from there," he said.

Sicafuse supports this idea and said he, too, wants to continue to "build a better Poland."

"By bringing in some different people from different groups, it gives us a better perspective I think because sometimes in council and our meetings, we're sort...narrow minded, but somebody on the Garden Club or the Kiwanis or whatever may have a whole different perspective than we do. So if we can get these people together, and most of them are gonna be long-term, long-time Poland residents that have a vested interest in the community."

Sicafuse added, "We look at everything we can and some things are good, some things are bad, but we're open to any suggestions and that's what we're hoping from this group. There might be things out there that we never even thought of before that these people have seen or they've known about. The more voices we have the better opportunities we can pursue."



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