What will Dover be like in the year 2023? More importantly, what do Dover residents want it to be? These questions will be the central focus of a new community wide project that will unfold over the next several months. The “Dover 2023 – Building our Tomorrow” effort is designed to get the community thinking about where it is now, where it has come from in the past few decades and where it wants to get to in the future. Does the community want more or less growth? More businesses, recreation, a better downtown? What do we value? All of these questions, and more, are up for discussion during the Dover 2023 process. I feels strongly that “developing a vision for our City is the key first step to building the community that we want to become.” This longer term perspective is particularly appropriate since Dover will be celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2023.
The Dover 2023 project is a unique visioning tool that will seek to engage a wide and broad spectrum of the community through a series of city-wide conversations and neighborhood workshops over the next three months. These meetings will be supplemented by a website as well as Facebook and Twitter sites which will provide a calendar of events, posting of important documents, and opportunity for direct public input. The Dover 2023 process will begin on Saturday March 10 from 9 am to noon at the Dover Middle School Cafeteria, focusing on what makes Dover a great place today and what could be done to make it even better. Kirt Schuman, Planning Board member and Chair of the Dover 2023 Steering Committee, is hoping for a large turnout at all Dover 2023 events. “It’s really important for me that the vision is reflective of all the community’s stakeholders including residents, business owners, and property owners,” says Schuman. “Speaking as a local business owner and resident, it’s critical that all voices be heard.”
After the March 10 conversation there will be a series of neighborhood workshops held at each of the elementary schools in March and April to develop a vision for Dover’s future and a strategy to get there. Parker stresses that these meetings will provide the opportunity for you to tell us your dreams for the City. It is our goal that these dreams and ideas will translate into decisions which will shape Dover for the next decade and be the foundation for a new tomorrow. Bob Carrier, Deputy Mayor and member of the Dover 2023 Steering Committee and long-time Dover resident, is very excited about what this process will deliver. “After experiencing some decline in the 1970s, downtown Dover is back,” says Carrier. “We’ve seen many exciting changes to the whole City in the past twenty years or so. It will be fascinating to discover what our residents and business owners want to see more of in the next twenty.”
DOVER 2023 EVENT CALENDAR
City-Wide Conversation to define Dover’s core values and strengths: March 10: 9 am – Noon at Dover Middle School Cafeteria
Neighborhood Workshops to develop the Vision for Dover in 2023:
March 13, 7-9 pm at Garrison School Cafeteria
March 14, 7-9 pm at Woodman Park School cafeteria
March 22, 7-9 pm at Horne Street School cafeteria
Neighborhood Workshops to finalize the Vision and figure out how to make it a reality:
April 10, 7-9 pm at Woodman Park cafeteria
April 12, 7-9 pm at Garrison School cafeteria
April 16, 7-9 pm at Horne Street School cafeteria
Final City-Wide Conversation to review and finalize the Dover 2023 Vision: May 5: 9 am – Noon at Dover Middle School Cafeteria
The results of the Dover 2023 process will be used to guide the City’s new master plan, budget and capital improvements program for the next decade.
Documents and the ideas that are developed through the process will be housed for ongoing public review and comment on the project’s website www.dover2023.com, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. So dream about Dover’s tomorrow, mark your calendars and join in the Dover 2023 community visioning process!