Often after speaking at a local government meetings, I hear, “Well that’s just your opinion, just anecdotal.” I consider myself a logical, observant person. I do my best, not to just make things up. I think this comes from my years as a business and data analyst at Visa, before I became a floral designer.
Now that the Mattsons are no longer a part of the Springs plaza equation, it is time to do something positive. It is time to get this done for the Springs community. We should not have to wait for the Springs Specific Plan and it should not be complicated. But, what do people actually want and who is going to take this forward and make it happen? I have heard that Maite Iturri may be planning to go forward and call a community meeting to discuss this, independently and not under the auspices of the Springs Municipal Advisory Council (MAC). Thus far I have been addressing the MAC with the hopes that they would move forward on reaching out to the community and moving forward.
I keep hearing about how parking for Springs merchants is a major concern and must be factored into any plans. I did an informal survey of merchant parking in the Springs along the Highway 12 corridor and submitted it to the MAC. In reality some merchants have more parking than they need for customers. I suggested that a cooperative arrangement between merchants to share parking for employees could be of benefit.
About four weeks ago I started a formal survey, reaching out to Springs residents, asking them what they wanted in a plaza or community space. So far, there have been over 90 responses. Recently, with assistance, a Spanish language version of the survey was created. It is posted on the Springs Community Facebook page, but so far no takers. I have reached out to La Luz to see if they would be interested in promoting the survey. I did my best to give survey takers as many options as possible and text boxes for them to say as much as they want, in their own words.
My hope is to submit the survey data and comments to whomever is planning to take on this project. I have told the Springs MAC that I am willing to pay for and set up a community meeting, if the county does not want to. For anyone who has not yet taken the survey, here is the link: https://forms.gle/syojANjzVy8Mt9XD8
The perception that we will get nothing by not rubber-stamping the Mattson plaza plan needs to be proven wrong. There is no reason we cannot move forward, starting now.
The data coming in on the survey is interesting: 93% want a plaza or community gathering space. But, it is evenly split in percentage on if they want it at the Post Office site or Larson Park. In another question, 54% would be in favor of having a smaller plaza at the post office location, with Larson Park being improved and used for larger events. The comments in the text boxes are full of interesting ideas and perspectives. So where do we go from here?
— Photo art by Mike Acker