I’d like to introduce you to Ian McMeans, Mt. Lebanon’s assistant manager and planner. If you have had a development project in Mt. Lebanon, you may have met him, but I would bet a lot of others have not. Ian is one of those managers who is constantly at work behind the scenes to bring high-level projects to fruition. On top of his fantastic work ethic, he is a master of data collection and analysis, and many of us on the municipal staff have counted on him to help us with one sort of project or another.
Why am I spotlighting Ian? Ian is spearheading Mt. Lebanon’s Comprehensive Plan, an 18-month process that will set us on course to set municipal goals for the next 10 years. Yes, it is required by the state Municipalities Planning Code. But towns have a lot of leeway as to how they are conducted, and frankly, some places just phone it in. In Mt. Lebanon, we treat this process—and its resulting document—as a benchmark for everything we want to be, a guidepost for everything we want to do and a measuring stick for how we are doing.
So Ian and his assistant, Urban Planning and Sustainability Coordinator Greg Wharton, will be spending a large portion of their time shepherding this project. (A side note: the last comprehensive plan shepherd was Municipal Manager Keith McGill, who was the municipal planner at the time.)
Why am I telling you this? It’s because Ian is leaning on you to be a vital part of this process. He needs you to respond to the many participation requests we’ll be publicizing. Ian (and our consultants at Pashek MTR) hope you’ll fill out surveys, attend public meetings, participate in group discussions and respond to all the ways you’ll be asked to record your thoughts, because it’s your voice that will help plot the course for the future.
We have 34,075 people who call Mt. Lebanon home, and it will take a lot of work to create a plan that represents the best for each one of you.
Incidentally, if you do meet Ian, he is also an expert in WPIAL sports, the Pittsburgh Steelers, flags of the world, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and every James Bond film ever made (and the ones he thinks should be made). Introduce yourself if you have the opportunity.