The results of evaluation forms for Greencastle's pilot community summit event, which was held Aug. 12, were tabulated recently by city planner Shannon Norman.
"This event was intended to be a starting point for other community participation activities to come," Norman said.
The summit took place at DePauw University's Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, which is located in the university's nature park. It ran from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
About 107 people attended the summit, and 69 evaluation forms were returned. Here is a synopsis of the findings:
* 88 percent of respondents said the date and time were adequate
* 96 percent were pleased with the venue.
* 94 percent enjoyed the lunch and refreshments that were provided.
Eighty-seven percent of the respondents said they liked the panel discussion format.
Some suggestions were to improve audio equipment, allow question and answer sessions during and after panels, limit time for individual panelists, have shorter sessions, add variety to questions and have better focus for the panelists.
The facilitated discussion portion of the summit received positive reviews from 74 percent of respondents, while 12 percent said they did not like the format and 10 percent said they liked it somewhat.
Comments included that the discussions lacked focus and were too facilitator-driven. Other respondents said they would have liked to have seen the discussion questions in advance, for the panelists to be more involved in the discussions and for the groups to have been smaller.
After the summit, respondents were able to submit questions. Here is a sampling:
* "We're enthusiastic and positive, but can we really simply say 'our schools are great?' All PR aside, don't we have some challenges, deficiencies and things to improve?"
* "What seems to be the main reason our community loses out to other communities?"
* "Many people believe that Speak Out (an anonymous forum published three times a week by the Banner Graphic) is one of the most destructive things happening in our community. What justification is there to continue it?"
* "How do we get more retail development?"
* "How do we engage those community members who feel negatively about out community so they will see the opportunities we have locally?"
* "Are low literacy skills a problem or concern for employers?"
* "What can we do to increase the diversity of job opportunities in Putnam County?"
* How do we encourage higher-level job opportunities for local graduates that will encourage grads to stay here?"
The full summary report from the summit is available by calling Norman at 653-7719. She can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Individuals who would like more information about getting involved in community planning events should also contact me," Norman said. "I am more than happy to add people to the list for future mailings and events."