Counting down: 12 for 2012

Published 8:54 am Sunday, January 1, 2012

3. Vision 2020 to set clear goals

The third most important development in 2012 actually includes 10 items, and they may take much longer than just one year to unfold.

But Vision 2020, the ideas that aim to improve Austin by the year 2020, will soon be more than just ideas. The initiative that started as more than 4,000 ideas to improve Austin was whittled down to 91 in December, and public voting on those 91 ideas officially ends on Sunday.

Now, it’s up to the hands of a selection committee, which will look at the public’s top-30 choices and confer on which 10 will become Austin’s future. The Idea Selection Committee consists of high school and college students, working adults and retirees. Austin’s racial and ethnic diversity are also represented.

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Throughout the past months, city officials and citizens offered ideas how to improve Austin’s recreation, youth social scene, art, tourism and more. Members of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hormel Historic Home, Paramount Theatre and Park and Recreation are particularly excited.

Laura Helle, executive director of the Hormel Historic Home is on the Vision 2020 steering committee. She said after Dec. 31, the ideas will begin to go through research. The selection committee will speak with local officials, prospective organizations and take ideas from others who want to get involved with each idea.

“They’re really going to be working on fleshing out the ideas,” Helle said.

The selection will finalize the top 10 ideas by March 1, 2012. From there, the group will begin working to make the ideas to improve Austin a reality by 2020. Helle added some open meetings may also be available to help mold the top 10 ideas into realities.