Civic engagement is a central component to any planning process. In order for community involvement to be successful, citizens must be encouraged to become active in the planning process. The plan will be reflect the community’s preferences and desires if the entire project team is able to gather input from a wide range of stakeholders with various interests. A public participation plan does exist within the Cobb 2040 Plan Development document that describes the purpose and process of how the community can get involved in the update process.
In the fall of 2015, Community Development staff carried out four public meetings through-out Cobb County aimed at educating the community about what the 2040 Comprehensive Plan is, provided information about supporting existing conditions data, and facilitated break-out groups to collect information from the public related to the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of the county. The information gathered from the community meetings along with existing conditions data will assist in forming the needs and opportunities, which will help identify key goals and policies. The following information is the presentation that was giving to the community and summary of comments from the SWOT analysis.
As part of the public participation phase of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan update and in an effort to reach a larger segment of the population, Community Development engaged the services of the A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Services and Research at Kennesaw State University to conduct a phone survey of residents in the county. The objective of the survey was to obtain their opinions on a number of issues related to quality of life, public services, transportation issues and priorities, and future development patterns in the county. The findings of the survey were analyzed and drafted into the needs of the county; helping to develop Cobb's 5 (five) year work program.