June 10, 2021
Temple Daily Telegram | Shane Monaco
The Temple Health & Bioscience District board met Thursday in part to decide on a new vision statement: To foster a thriving health science community.
The board had two goals with for the meeting — to create and refine a new set of mission and vision statements for its path forward. The new statements are expected to be voted on by the board during its meeting later this month on June 30.
Board members invited longtime educator Robin Battershell, former superintendent of the Temple and Belton independent school districts, to aid them.
Board member Gregg Straburger said the goal of the district, and therefore the statement, was to be a catalyst in bringing bioscience industries and qualified workers to Temple.
“As a board, we are really kind of like an economic development corporation in the health sciences area,” Strasburger. “So that really focuses us on trying to bring that kind of game into town.”
While the board had a similar idea on what they wanted the district to become, Battershell helped guide the members on narrowing it down into a sentence.
Battershell said simplicity in the board’s statements and the usage of common words was important since the district is trying to market itself to a variety of people and businesses.
“You are not selling your product to everybody who has a post-graduate degree,” Battershell said. “No, you are selling your product, and we don’t know what that is at this point, to manufacturers, to educators and you are selling it to people in the health care business. So your language becomes really important that it is not too complicated and not too complex.”
Board members spent hours crafting their new statements, trying to compress what they want for the community into a simple message.
One of the most supported phrases cut from the vision statement was a desire to give taxpayers a noticeable return for the taxes they pay. Board member John Kiella said he didn’t think it needed to be in the statement since it should be noticeable to taxpayers through the district’s actions.
One of the reasons behind the district creating these new statements was a report by consultant Newmark Group Inc. that was approved by the board in March.
The report looked at Temple and the district then gave 72 recommendations on what could be done to bring more bioscience and life science companies to the area. The consultants said in the report that before the city could compete in the field, it “will require major, long-term investments in assets and workforce.”
While not part of its statement, Kiella said, he hopes at least one thing will not change as the district moves towards its vision.
“The one thing that will not change, hopefully, in the next 25 years is that we are going to be dealing with people and we are going to be giving them an opportunity,” Kiella said.