Nearly 20 people participated in an interactive discussion and input session at Tecumseh City Hall Tuesday night as part of a community open house to discuss Tecumseh’s future and the ongoing process for the city’s comprehensive plan.


Nearly 20 people participated in an interactive discussion and input session at Tecumseh City Hall Tuesday night as part of a community open house to discuss Tecumseh’s future and the ongoing process for the city’s comprehensive plan.

Advisory panels and committees continue to meet, but Tuesday night’s meeting gave members of the public a chance to participate and offer input about the future of Tecumseh.

Last year, the city voted to hire a consultant, Brannyn McDougal, from Gray Planning Service, to do a new comprehensive plan, or what she called a “road map” to a community’s future. The last plan in Tecumseh was done in 1993.

McDougal said at its most basic, a community’s comprehensive plan is a “to do list,” of what the community wants Tecumseh to act and feel like over the next 20 years.

In addressing the group, McDougal said work so far has focused on four sub-areas — housing, the local economy, transportation and community as well as natural resources and recreation.

McDougal said Tecumseh grows at a rate of about 1 percent per year, with the median age of residents at about 35. She said Tecumseh is a considered a suburb and needs to continue to grow to meet the needs of families wanting to move into the community.

With an objective to tell Tecumseh’s story, McDougal had the group participate in an “Asset quilt” exercise to identify Tecumseh’s strengths in key areas such as cultural and organizational assets.
McDougal, along with planner Josh Campbell, collected those for complete input, but several participants spoke out about their responses.

Mayor Eddy Parker read his first, as he identified strengths such as the Tecumseh Alumni Association, the Summer Youth Program, the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce, the revitalization of downtown, among others.

Pam O’Rorke said Tecumseh also has a “strong sense of community,” as she identified the school and parks as assets.

Frontier Days also was mentioned, city government, along with many other assets that could be expanded upon for the comprehensive plans.

Discussion in several keys areas of how Tecumseh can improve included more businesses needed downtown, along with more night-life and family-friendly activities downtown after 5 p.m.

Fran Topping told the group a story about a trip to Eureka Springs, where she fell in love and purchased a piece of artwork at a shop, only to discover she had purchased artwork made by a Tecumseh artist.

Showcasing artists in downtown Tecumseh was one idea mentioned as ways to bring in tourists and showcase downtown.

“Tourists are the most affordable means of economic development for a city,” McDougal said.
The need for code enforcement to help beautify the city was discussed, as well as ways to showcase the gateways and entrances into the town. Housing was discussed, along with water, utilities and the needs for storm drain systems.

The community meeting was a step in the ongoing planning process, and another community open house is expected in late March.

For more on the development of the city’s comprehensive plan or to participate, go to www.tecumsehtomorrow.com.