‘Visioning’ open house draws few in American Canyon

Officials claim more than 200 responses to online survey
2013-08-28T16:19:00Z 2013-08-29T14:34:26Z ‘Visioning’ open house draws few in American CanyonSCOTT HANKINS Napa Valley Register
August 28, 2013 4:19 pm  • 

AMERICAN CANYON — “Sometimes, you just have to ask people what they want.”

That statement by City Councilman Mark Joseph sums up the idea behind the community-wide visioning project of the city of American Canyon.

The project culminated in an open house at City Hall on Saturday.

“We’re trying to come up with a shared vision for the future of American Canyon,” said Management Analyst Deanna Parness.

The city wants as much input as possible, Parness said.

“We’re trying to get people to tell us what future they want,” she said. “We want them to tell us, explain to us and ultimately, as the process moves through, try to figure out how to achieve that.”

The open house had nearly as many city employees as it did public attendees.

However, more than 200 people have taken an online survey associated with the effort, according to the city website. The survey is still available at cityofamericancanyon.org.

The open house featured several stations with easel-mounted sketch pads where residents could list the city’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. There were also two aerial photographs of the city on which residents could put stickers to indicate places they liked.

“We get to voice our opinion on what we want for a city,” said attendee Leng Cruz. “We want to see results in the future.”

Resident Michelle Margolati was pleased her voice was being heard. “We want to be involved in the community,” she said. “I feel I think they are very receptive to everyone’s ideas.”

Margolati said the city must “do something about the shopping around here. We need more services. We need to do upgrades to buildings to look better.”

Residents expressed their opinions on the easels. Listed under weaknesses were traffic, lack of money to build roads, Highway 29, limited space to grow, needs versus wants, too much studying and not enough implementing.

Strengths cited were cultural diversity, commercial potential of traffic, location, and the proximity to the airport, ocean, and San Francisco.

Opportunities included, parks and community services master plan, the Town Center project, proactive economic development and open access to the Newell Open Space.

Parness said the information will be used to set goals.

“The council will look at it to create a vision for what we hope the community will go for the next five to ten years,” she said. “The visioning itself has been talked about for many years by the council and city manager. Every year the city (officials) will get together to set goals for the city and the staff.”

This time, the idea is to get residents involved in the process.

“It came together that the city council can’t set goals if they don’t know what the community wants,” Parness pointed out. “They have their own ways of finding out what the community wants through their own methods. This has been seen as a broad spectrum, the broadest spectrum possible.”

The city staff wants to demystify the process.

“This is also called the strategic plan,” Parness explained. “But that comes with a boring connotation.”

The city sent out 5,000 flyers, mostly in utility bills, to invite people to become involved in the project.

The entire city council was present at the open house.

This story originally misstated the number of online responses the city received.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. publiusa
    Report Abuse
    publiusa - August 28, 2013 8:24 pm
    Face it...AMCAN is a town full of people who couldn't care less about it. Another meeting was called by a lady city council person about 2 months ago at a local bakery and only two people showed up. AMCANNERS have no idea if they live in Vallejo, Fairfield or Fremont. All they want is to jump on the freeway to commute to their jobs somewhere. The town is nothing more than a place to buy a big house on no lot for a cheap price and to move on to a real town someday. This is a danger to Napa County because AMCANNERS will build urban sprawl and then move away leaving the rest of the county to deal with it...They already built 3 new stop lights on HWY 29 and massive road frontage development with much more in the planning stage to come...then they call Napans for help to pay for their schools, their lack of water, their insufficient sewer system and the cost to clean up the traffic mess they built.
  2. AmCanRes
    Report Abuse
    AmCanRes - August 28, 2013 10:17 pm
    publiusa - I honestly don't know why you read stories having to do with AmCan, it just seems to upset you and you go off on another rant over things that don't even really affect you.
    The visioning process has been going on for sometime; I participated at a Health Fair in May. Service clubs, parents waiting for children at swim lessons and basketball games participated as well as groups at the senior center. Between in person and on-line the city has gathered a good cross-section of residents over the past 4 months, this was simply a wrap up. AmCan residents certainly do know where we live, Napa county. You might as well stop complaining about the school bond measure that upgraded schools in Napa, rebuilding facilities and easing some of the traffic issues by taking school buss's off the highway that were transporting students to Vintage High School plus easing the overcrowded conditions at Napa and Vintage High Schools. It's over, the Napa kids are benefiting as well as the AmCan kids
  3. y2kcbr
    Report Abuse
    y2kcbr - August 29, 2013 12:07 pm
    I live in American Canyon and I can tell you that the residents DO care about the City. In fact, this is the most caring city that I have ever lived in. Ex-Navy, grew up in multiple areas in California, Hawaii, Colorado...so I have seen a few cities in my lifetime.

    American Canyon residents (not AMCANNERS) are well aware of the City we live in. Please keep your disparaging comments to yourself. We had no choice on building WalMart (your comment about the 3 lights spurned from WalMart). This was a City decision to bring in Wally World. As a DAILY commuter to Napa from American Canyon, I can tell you the traffic SUCKS because local businesses cannot afford the rent American Canyon charges. Hence big box stores coming in.

    Anyways, your comments are so incredibly off. American Canyon residents are very proud of their City
  4. Trouble
    Report Abuse
    Trouble - August 31, 2013 7:19 am
    Not but a FEW Residents Believe What You Project !!!!!!
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