Over 100 Happy Camp citizens met at the Family Resource Center on July 24, 2001 to discuss the future of our town. Sponsored by the Karuk Community Development Corporation (KCDC), the meeting was led by Scott Clements of Clements Partners, LLC, a consulting firm from Portland, Oregon that facilitates financial projects and negotiations for Native American and public-private ventures.
The focus of the town meeting was to design a plan for sustainable economic development in the Happy Camp area. We were asked to imagine our town as we would like to see it in ten or twenty years, and focus on projects to create a new prosperity here. KDCD has recently received an economic development grant and wanted community discussion on ways to put the funding to good use.
Assisting Mr. Clements were his wife, Myrna Clements, who works with him doing grant writing and securing funding, and Sharon Neilsen of Neilsen’s Group of Portland, who helps with housing and human service projects.
Mr. Clements explained the process of goal setting, deciding on priorities, and creating a plan of implementation. After his introductory talk and a brief question and answer session, the crowd broke up into groups to discuss various aspects of economic development such as health care, recreation, retail and special events. Local teenagers created their own group to make suggestions for improving facilities for youth.
After working in groups for about half an hour, the meeting was reconvened so group representatives could present their group’s list of suggestions.
At the close of the meeting we had an outstanding community dinner. The food here keeps getting better and better!