Community Conversations: Seeing Warwick from Multiple Lenses Pt. 1

In early 2017, a small group of community members (about 6) came together to address the “Blue Line” controversy that surfaced on Railroad Avenue around this time last year.
The idea for a community conversation emerged from our meetings when the back and forth letters to the editor and the very heated Village Board Meeting highlighted clearly the need to find a more productive way to solve community differences.

It was felt that establishing Community meetings had the potential to provide some positive outcomes:
    – Learn about Warwick from different perspectives
    – Build trust and common ground
    – Identify opportunities and challenges before us
    – Identify a path to collaborative solutions

A group of about 16-18 people came together on May 20:
Participants were divided into small groups and used a technique call the SWOT analysis process – to help us answer questions such as “Where are we as a community? Where can we go from here? Is what we are doing enough? Are we on the right course of action?

The SWOT acronym helped us to identify some of Warwick’s:

  • Strengths –the positive qualities that make our community more effective     
  • Weaknesses – our vulnerabilities? What could we improve?
  • Opportunities – where are the possibilities of doing something new/different
  • Threats – the possibility that something unwanted will happen.            What threats do our weaknesses expose us to?

The May 20th meeting allowed us to take the temperature of what people were thinking and feeling, gain insight into what different parts of the community see as our strengths and challenges and begin the path to collaborative solutions.