The City of Wimberley had been exploring options for a wastewater treatment system for 20 years, but divided opinions in the community had stymied progress. Various factions held conflicting views on health and safety, environmental, economic and social aspects of a wastewater treatment system. Repeated attempts to overcome the divisions had failed.
Laura Raun Public Relations was selected, as part of a team, to facilitate a stakeholder advisory group charged with making recommendations about a wastewater treatment system to the Wimberley City Council.
LRPR laid out a systematic facilitation process that relied on identifying concerns, discerning underlying values and finding common ground among the disparate interests. Using guided discussions, Laura Raun led participants in free-ranging exchange of ideas that centered on key decision points required to meet the City Council charge.
The Stakeholder Advisory Group agreed on a set of recommendations for a wastewater treatment system. The City Council praised the stakeholder process for its ability to deliver a set of comprehensive recommendations reached through consensus. Stakeholders also applauded the process as “invaluable.” The recommendations were incorporated into a preliminary engineering report.