In 2018, the Essex Junction Trustees and Essex Town Selectboard began working on a plan to merge the Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction. In March 2021, voters rejected the merger plan. In November 2021, the Village of Essex Junction passed a City Charter to separate from the Town of Essex and is now established as the independent City of Essex Junction.
Over the years, Essex Junction has participated in numerous engagement efforts. Some of these efforts include Heart and Soul of Essex, Design Five Corners, and the Comprehensive Plan. In 2012 and 2014, the Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction engaged in an in-depth community conversation called Heart & Soul of Essex, which identified six core values – Education, Local Economy, Thoughtful Growth, Health and Recreation, Community Connections, and Safety. Thoughtful Growth emerged as the most pressing issue in the community and resulted in the Design Five Corners community discussion (2015), the Implementation Plan (2019), and the Village Comprehensive Plan (2019).
It is our firm belief that a successful strategic planning process is based on three primary principles: It is future oriented, data driven, and people focused.
The ‘future orientation’ is particularly important to take account of rapidly emerging social and technological trends related to global health and well-being.
The ‘data driven’ ensures the plan is built on solid research, public input, and information, and is measurable.
The ‘people focused’ represents it is important to build support for the plan and to harness the best possible input into the strategic planning process .