Nearly five years after its formation, the Blue Springs Human Relations Commission is revamping its strategic plan to more clearly define its mission and to enable residents to become more included in their community.

Marjorie Major, board chairman, said members felt like their current direction wasn’t clear enough, and it was time to become more focused on their efforts in order to reach a specific goal. Major added that “things have changed since the HRC was first created,” and it was time to update their mission.

Major said it was decided in December to hold several strategic plan sessions to discuss the challenges facing the HRC and they way they wanted to address them.

Major explained the largest issues were the lack of marketing and advertising for their outreach events, as well as what she described as a “bumpy year” for the board. Several commissioners moved and others were ill, leaving the commission without it’s full set of leaders for a time.

With the leadership coming together, they participated in one four-hour planning session, and have two more two-hour sessions planned, totalling them at eight hours spent working on their strategic plan and vision, according to Major.

As the strategic plan comes together, Major said it will focus largely on advertising and marketing, the lack of which led to a struggling turnout for past events.

“We weren’t able to market and advertise sufficiently to get the word out,” she confirmed. At their Helping Residents Connect event, the vendors outweighed the attendees. Some of this, joked Major, was attributed to the Chiefs playing well in their football game on the same day, but she said moving forward one of their primary goals will be to make residents more aware of events in advance to promote a higher turnout rate.

Major explained one of the group’s approaches will be to organize different task forces made up of volunteers, each dedicated to a different responsibility. Major said they are still discussing when the task forces will meet.

“We will be reaching out to work with more residents, to include them in what’s going on in the city,” she said.

Additionally, Major said the commission will be working on creating a more defined mission statement, which will give them a clear goal, and a way for residents to hold them accountable.

“We need to be more on-point,” Major said. “We need to identify what we’re going to do and the meaning of why we’re doing it.”

As the HRC continues to evolve, residents can stay updated through the group’sFacebook page or website.