LIMA — It’s been 10 years of getting to know each other.
The Allen County/Lima Public Officials Dialogue celebrated its 10th anniversary Wednesday, marking that first bridge-crossing conversation that happened in April 2003. The group celebrated in the same way they started, with a meal and good conversation.
The group, facilitated by former Lima Councilor David Adams, is an offshoot of the Common Threads effort, which commissioned a theater piece about the Lima community and then encouraged small-group dialogue about community topics.
Adams chaired a group designed for public officials, and that led to the dialogue. The monthly meeting always was intended just to bring people closer together. Having a dialogue is structured conversation around a specific topic, Adams said. The exercise is intended to get people to learn about each other beyond their official capacities. It also is designed to share information, not opinions and arguments. Because of that, Adams said, the meetings are “agenda-free” and the conversation has been “altercation-free."
The meetings have led to officials being more eager to call on one another to solve problems, Adams said.
Wednesday’s meeting was the 110th since the effort began. More than 180 different officials have attended. Adams recognized Bluffton Councilor Mitch Kingsley and Millie Hughes, with the Lima Area League of Women Voters, who attended Wednesday and also attended the first event.
The meetings have been underwritten by Common Threads, Lima Area League of Women Voters, Allen Economic Development Group and Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce.
For information about the meetings, call the development group at 419-222-7706.