North Texas Daily

Denton Plan 2030 discusses future, city in second meeting

Denton Plan 2030 discusses future, city in second meeting

March 27
22:40 2013

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

Denton officials met yesterday in McConnell Hall to discuss Denton Plan 2030 with students and get student input.

This marks the second time a 2030 meeting has been held, the first of which was held on March 21, where Denton residents and city council members deliberated the vision for Denton by 2030.

City council member and assistant director of student life for UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences Kevin Roden stressed the importance of student input in the 2030 plan.

“I tell college students all the time, we’re making a plan for 2030 where some of us are reaching retirement age and you’ll be in your prime,” he said. “In a lot of ways it’s more important for you to be here.”

A group of about 10 students were broken into small groups and asked to discuss the city’s strengths, weaknesses, future challenges and opportunities. The groups then presented their findings to each other.

Across the two meetings, the consensus was that having both Texas Woman’s University and UNT in Denton strengthened the city, but retaining the post-graduate population was a weakness.

“It’s just a waste to spend all that time educating people to have them leave,” said public administration graduate student Cooper Burke.

Other themes included opportunities presented by being close to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as well as the need to update city roads and public transportation.

The meetings were also a learning experience for many students in professor of public administration Brian Collins’ class. Class members served as discussion leaders to help learn about civic engagement.

“I think it’s participation by informed citizens,” public administration graduate student and class member Laura Mitchell said. “We’ve learned kind of the science behind facilitation [and] how administrators view the citizens in their city.”

Collins said keeping the public engaged was a matter of legitimizing our democracy.

“We’re training students to be professional public servants,” he said. “As such, it’s really critical to remain in contact with the public.”

The next meeting is on April 1st from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Room number 207 at TWU. More information about Denton Plan 2030 can be found at www.dentonplan2030.com.

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