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"Talk Story" Meeting FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about talk story meetings

What are “talk story” meetings?  Talk story meetings are easy, fun ways to tell the County what you value about Hāmākua, what you’d like to see in Hāmākua in the future, and which ideas for the future are most important.

Why should I go to a talk story meeting?  We are establishing the foundations for Community Development Plan (CDP), which will serve as the County’s 20-year roadmap for Hāmākua.

Will it cost me anything?  No.  The County will provide a facilitator and all of the necessary materials. 

Where are the talk story meetings being held?  Anywhere you’re most comfortable – living rooms, lanais, restaurants, park pavilions, etc.

Who else will be there?  That’s up to you.  You can get together with your family, friends, church group, volunteer organization, fishing or hunting group, co-workers or any other group.

How will the ideas from the talk story meetings be organized?  All ideas will be compiled, and identical (or very similar) ideas will be grouped together (or “clustered”).  No ideas will be lost, and all ideas will be considered during the next phases of the CDP.  The entire list of “raw” ideas and the clustered list will be available to the public.

How will community priorities be identified?  Each idea will be given one “vote” every time it is mentioned at different meetings; for example, if the same idea comes up at 40 different meetings, it gets 40 votes.  In addition, ideas that participants identify as most important (by “voting” for them at the end of the talk story meeting with sticky dots) will receive additional votes equal to the number of dots.  That way, we can tell which clusters of ideas are most important to the most people. 

How will Talk Story results be used?  The clustered list of ideas will be used to identify the core elements of the community’s values and vision – and its priorities.  Those elements and priorities will be the focus of the research conducted by the community and the consultants.  Based on the priorities and research, alternative paths to the future and alternative strategies for forging those paths will be developed and presented to the community for consideration.  The paths and strategies chosen by the community will go into the Community Development Plan.

How do I attend or host a talk story meeting?  Contact any one of the community liaisons:

·         Rural South Hilo:  Donna Johnson, 895-6407

·         North Hilo:  Farrah-Marie Gomes, 937-4054

·         Hāmākua:  Lori Beach, 775-8209

You may also work through the County’s talk story coordinator: Frecia Basilio, 961-8085.  They will assign you to a meeting already scheduled or help you organize one.

How can I facilitate a Talk Story Meeting? 

The county is providing free Talk Story Facilitation training.  You must attend a facilitator training session to be a CDP Talk Story Facilitator, but this a simple, one-time session, and there are many training opportunities available throughout the CDP area.  Please click here to learn more about becoming a Talk Story Facilitator. 

Can I attend more than one talk story meeting?  No.  It is not fair for anyone to have more input than others or to skew the results by repeating the same ideas.  If a new idea occurs to you after a meeting, feel free to send it to the project manager or complete a survey.  If you have already completed one survey but want to add something to the Values and Vision Survey, please do not resubmit the Demographic Questionnaire.  The County is carefully tracking participation, so we will know if people try to manipulate the process.

Is this my last chance to provide CDP input?  No.  Everyone in the community will be invited to help with research, evaluating alternative paths and strategies, and deciding what the final plan should include.

What if I don’t have time or simply don’t want to attend a meeting?  Please complete a Values and Vision Survey.  Surveys were mailed to all U.S. postal box holders in the Hāmākua CDP planning area and are also available in the "CDP Input" section of the www.hamakuacdp.info website.

How long will talk story meetings be held?  Through December 2009.

What if I have more questions?  Contact Frecia Basilio, the County’s talk story coordinator, at 961-8085, or the Hāmākua CDP Project Manager, Christian Kay, at 961-8136.

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