, Muskogee, OK

November 25, 2012

Next up for AIM: achieve its goals

Steering panel to meet Thursday to start mapping approaches

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Educational excellence and a safe, secure community are two priorities that concerned citizens want Muskogee to tackle.

Citizens at Action in Muskogee (AIM) visioning sessions identified these and seven other initiatives at meetings held in August through October.

A steering committee for the AIM program will meet Thursday to look over these initiatives to decide how to put them in action, said Brien Thorstenberg, business and economic development director at the Muskogee City-County Port Authority.

AIM’s nine initiatives are, in order of priority:

• Educational excellence.

• Safe and secure community.

• Strong economy.

• Community pride.

• Clean and beautiful community.

• Great place to live.

• Health and wellness.

• Great place to visit.

• Community infrastructure.

“There is a lot of commonality with these initiatives,” Thorstenberg said in a media release. “One project has the potential to have a positive effect on more than one initiative.”

AIM was set up to be a community-driven project to find ways to improve Muskogee. Five community meetings were held under the leadership of consultants Dana Shadid and Sandy Pratt.

After the meetings were completed, consultants drafted a report on how to put the nine initiatives into place, Thorstenberg said.

He said the steering committee is charged with taking ideas presented at the visioning sessions and turning them into projects “to improve the area.”

The committee will elect a chair and co-chair, then name “champions” to lead committees for each initiative.

“This will be a long, ongoing process,” Thorstenberg said.

More than 100 people already have volunteered to be on a committee, “but anyone can volunteer,” he said.

To volunteer, call the Port’s development office, (918) 682-7887.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or