Dear Mayor, City Council and City Leaders,
I was inspired by the book American Icon about Alan Mullaly, considered by many to have been the greatest CEO in American history after resurrecting both Boeing and Ford from ruin. His mantra was “Trust the process”, and he never wavered from it.
On a very much smaller scale, our downtown and waterfront have been in need of resurrection for half a century. A variety of approaches have been attempted. Referendums have come and gone. Ambitious plans have come to naught.
Is this downtown’s last chance for greatness? Many of us feel that we are at a crossroads that is in serious danger of becoming a dead end.
You wisely came up with a process that had never really been fully attempted: engaging the community as a whole in creating downtown’s future — Imagine Clearwater. The goal is to end up with a master plan that makes a successful referendum a foregone conclusion because it enjoys such broad support in the community.
You went about this brilliantly. You started with a blank slate. You looked at national trends. You hired top-notch consultants. You created a diverse stakeholder committee. And you engaged in an unprecedented level of community input. The results are just as you intended. You have a stunning master plan that was instantly embraced and applauded by a wide range of citizens and stakeholders, many of whom had never before seen eye to eye.
For the first time ever, a vision — and a plan — for downtown’s future is getting broad agreement within the community. Please don’t waver now. Trust the process. It’s working.
Jack Mortimer, President, Downtown Neighborhood Association