1st-ever town hall ‘vision’ meeting for OCCHS

       The group that preserves the Westside's past is looking into the future.
       In pursuit of a five-year “vision,” the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) is inviting citizens - not just members - to a first-time “town hall meeting” Thursday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
       The location will be the Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St., which the all-volunteer nonprofit opened in 1997. The OCCHS first started coming together around 1980.
       “We're taking a fresh look at who we are and what we could and should be doing, and what are the possiblities and how we're going to do them,” said Joanne Karlson, a former OCCHS president who is organizing the effort for the society's vision committee, which has been meeting since February.
       The meeting will have charts on display and provide an explanatory handout. Karlson was not ready to reveal every topic the committee wants to discuss, but one proposal will be to loosen up the current OCCHS mission statement requiring its historical focus to be on the years 1859 (when Colorado City was founded) to 1917 (when it was annexed to Colorado Springs). The proposal is “to see that expand to include our more recent history,” Karlson elaborated.
       Other goals are to learn how OCCHS is perceived by the community at large, to get a better idea how to attract volunteers and to feel it's offering a historical service that people find useful.
       The meeting will start with an introduction from the vision committee, after which people will “break into some small-group discussion and report back to the group,” she said. “We are looking for ideas which will help create attainable action plans for the next 5 years.”
       Karlson added that the committee's recommendations will be presented to the OCCHS Board in the fall.
       Sharon Swint, the current society president, said a previous vision committee had sought to look as far as 20 years ahead. “Too long range!” she commented. So the current group decided to go with five years.
       The History Center is in a converted church that's open to the public five days a week with free admission. OCCHS volunteers run a bookstore, maintain a growing collection of artifacts, set up museum displays, publish a newsletter, organize the annual Colorado City Founders Day celebration and line up numerous well-attended historical talks.

Westside Pioneer article