A new strategic plan for Pendleton aims to tackle economic economic development in downtown’s core. 

The Pendleton Development Commission, comprised of the same members as city council, discussed the rough draft of its strategic plan Tuesday. The plan addresses ways to boost the economy in the downtown urban area and beautify the Umatilla riverfront. 

Commissioner Keith May said it’s different from the contentious downtown plan recently approved by the planning commission.

“This one’s specific, and that’s what I like about it,” he said.

The overarching goals call for continuing urban renewal programs. More detailed objectives include finding funding for enhancing the river parkway, adding welcome arches around the city and starting competitions to encourage community involvement.

The plan calls for an executive director to oversee it, which by law will be the city manager, Urban Renewal Agency consultant Susan Bower said. Commissioners will be assigned to carry out the missions.

Commissioner Neil Brown said having the commissioners themselves head up the action will help keep them more invested. “There’s more at stake,” he said.

Bower worked with the commission to write the plan. 

“It’s a road map,”?she said, “and like going on any road trip, you may find you need to take a different route on the way,”?she said.

The commission will review the plan again at their next meeting Dec. 20 at 6 p.m.

Commissioner Bryan Branstetter said the date would accommodate the incoming city manager, who starts work Dec. 19.

In other business, the commission elected May chairman and Brenne vice-chairman.

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