Cost of Fayette Vision: $850K

Fayette County Deputy School Superintendent Sam Sweat (R) and Assistant School Superintendent Terry Oatts (C) meet with Fayette citizens to discuss the vision and future of Fayette’s education system. Photo/Special.

Fayette Visioning Initiative Co-chair Bob Ross revealed two dozen “to-do’s” with a price tag of approximately $850,000 to about 100 residents who attended a climactic vision meeting at the Dolce in Peachtree City last week.

Ross’s presentation outlined the findings and recommendations of the initiative that began last October.

The committee recommends focusing on initiatives in the areas of community, place, education and economy and monitoring 24 areas of progress.

A five-year implementation plan will cost about $170,000 a year which will include funding for staff and various a-la-carte services from Market Street Services, the company which has steered the process since December.

Visioning expenses through the end of May were $102,727, funded through a combination of private contributions and local government grants.

Fayette’s vision statement, released last month, defines the county as “the place where bold ideas become reality.” Increasing collaboration, inclusive leadership, educational progress, development, employment opportunities and quality of life to “unrivaled heights” is on the agenda.

Attendees gathered to brainstorm in these four areas of interest in a breakout session following Ross’s presentation.

Here’s the list of items for which progress is to be measured:

1. Community

• Participants in annual event celebrating Fayette

• Number of nonprofits using Chamber for Good website

• Number of crowd-funding donors

• Establishment of an online events portal

• Creation of a public safety foundation

2. Place

• Establishment of a single arts nonprofit

• Completion of feasibility study for a multi-use events space

• Number of Keep Peachtree City Beautiful members

• Number of miles of connected multi-use paths

• Establishment of development guidelines for specific areas

• Completion of transportation “needs assessment” for seniors

3. Education

• Four-year cohort graduation rate

• College and Career Readiness Performance Index

• International benchmarks

• Digital School Districts Survey

• Students graduating with internship experience

• Teachers participating in externships

4. Economy

• Small businesses assisted

• Establishment of an incubator / accelerator

• Jobs from expansions, relocations

• Company success rate after three and five years

• Companies reached through BRE visits

• Volume of industrial and office space brought to market.

ivy
ivy's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/03/2009
VISION? WHOSE? certainly not mine!

Where does the Church fit into this "vision"? Notably absent from the 4 Pillars.

ivy
ivy's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/03/2009
Vision

Guess I need new glasses, 'cause I'm just not seeing the "vision". "measuring progress": It's not actually the same as "doing something"; something positive (and who defines "positive")? Definable /quantifiable goals? I see no definable/quantifiable goals, let alone anything the taxpayers would have anything to rally around, certainly nothing that makes me want to contribute my tax dollars (which by the way, I absolutely can not believe that in a supposedly "conservative" county, both our BOC and BOE gave away our money on a questionable endeavor without a public vote--to me, its akin to an unapproved SPLOT for the citizens of FC.

I will address each of the 4 points of the so-called vision in a follow-up post.

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
Not seeing this "Vision" whatsoever

Perpetual study groups at a cost of 170K/year, hmmmmm. I also noticed how it is not mentioned who the hell is on the hook for all the funding?

This whole project started with good intentions, no doubt, and is now off the rails.

You give me a blank check and I can build you a bunch of nice things. Expecting taxpayers to buy into this very cloudy "vision" and pay for it is entirely different. Justify it or go away. I guess the 170K is for that PR purpose.

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
Agreed, Nuk

I see a lot of information gathering and then what. I see overlap of existing functions of local agencies (FCDA and Chamber, to name two of them.) Arts Center? What effect would that have on the Legacy Theater in Tyrone?

If this were an "up" economy we were living in, I'd say go for it. We have a state election coming up that is a toss up right now. We have a major battle going on in the courts over the basic fabric of our county. Are future BOC's and City Councils going to be bound to contribute to this effort? No. Peachtree City and the County and Fayetteville are facing other big issues, too. Pinewood, we do not have a clue how they will change this county. Was Brian Cooper invited to be on this committee? We have at least one new college on it's way. What is (was) their participation in all of this? The biggest donors (from what little has been reported so far) have been EMC (51K) and Kaiser (10K). That does not include the large govt. donations. Are EMC and Kaiser going to be bound to contribute these amounts for the next 5 years? I don't know if I want EMC to be bound by that, as they have contributed elsewhere to our community with those funds in the past. There might be a yet unidentified need for those funds elsewhere in the next 5 years. Is the Kaiser co-chair going to remain on board for 5 years or move on? If he does, is Kaiser going to commit to their donation? I say take the ideas and close this chapter.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2012
Vision Blinders

Can anyone really sell us that anything above is a vision? A community vision was a local hospital back in the late 80's, early 90's. What we have here is a Christmas wish list from a bunch of spoiled kids who want to keep up with the Jones from Clayton and Coweta county. (Art Center)

Quantifying graduates or cart paths, developing a clearinghouse for events, is simple tasking of existing data.

There's not a true county vision that came out of $100k already spent. Why would anyone agree to pay more?

Every one of us have benefitted from the visionary group that brought us the hospital years ago. It's time we stop the waste and get true visionary's for the future of the county.

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
H&F You went

to some of this. Under Economy is listed "Companies reached through BRE visits". Do you know what BRE is? Is it business retention...?

Also, where is the $170K a year to come from? Who is going to make sure they get that money to stay up and running?

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2012
MLC

Business retention is correct. I think financing is the big question. How do they pay for what they want to do?

I was very late. Left work at 5:15 from the north side and fought my way through traffic. Listened to a few speak and chatted with a few folks I know. Not many average citizens there.

Don't get me wrong, these are all fine things to do, and a lot can be accomplished by simple tasks. An art center isn't a vision. It's simply trying to keep up with the Joneses. Maybe someone can get Pinewood to build us an art center. But I heard that they don't donate at this time.

Just disappointed. There is still no county vision and certainly nothing of substance that will benefit everyone like the hospital did with the last vision.

The one guy that has his stuff together, Mr. Zaheer Faruqi was the only person that impressed me. Why is there nothing highlighting things that can be done in aviation? If this man was leading the group, we'd have had a vision and a plan.

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
H&F correction

There is an event for the aviation crowd this coming Tuesday that I believe the airport and FCDA are involved in. Mr. F. is involved but is a quiet leader. All is good on that front, IMHO.

smoothassilk
smoothassilk's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2008
Commissioners Meeting tonight

Asking for citizens to show up at the Commissioners meeting Thursday, tonight, at 7pm. During the Public Hearing time please express your thoughts; suggest to put this up for a special vote so that all voters of Fayetteville will have their say.

Fayette County Administrative Complex
140 Stonewall Avenue West
Suite 100
Fayetteville, Georgia 30214

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2012
Incubator Vision

Who does the vision group think will sponsor this incubator vision?

According to wikipedia, 1/3 are sponsored by economic development organizations, 21% are sponsored by government entities and another 20% by colleges.

While I think an incubator is a nice thing to have, its catering to just too small of a group of population to benefit the community as a whole.

I don't believe we should be wasting our tax dollars on this. Why would we spend tax dollars to benefit such a small population of entrepreneurs? Let the COC or the new colleges take this idea and run with it?

I was late to the meeting last week, and I wasn't coming in with high expectations. I was however hoping for a surprise. When the vision was last performed years ago, they came away with a plan to develop a much needed hospital that has grown and provided most of us with a needed local service. Can anyone direct me to something, anything on the list of objectives that rival the visionary's of the past?

naturegrl
naturegrl's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/19/2012
Rip off

This is a joke. Sounds like to me Bob Ross and crew need a paycheck for a few years. Put this so called wonderful idea on the ballot and let the voters decide if we want to pay nearly one million dollars for another layer of government.

JCAT
JCAT's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/04/2008
Fayette Vision

After reading this article, my understanding of this topic is just as clear as mud. It sounds like a lot of theoretical pie in the sky that's costing real money. All of the items of progress sound appear to be simply vague goals such as "I'll do better next quarter. Well, exactly how much better will you do? How will you measure it? I would like to see some actual measurable objectives.

Is knowing the number miles of connected multi-use paths a goal or an objective? Doesn't our city maps already show this? Why pay for this again with something call Fayette Vision? On the surface, this sounds like a typical make work government spending program. If I were paying the bills for this, I'd want to know right now on what exact items was the first $102,000.00 spent? On what items exactly will this projected $170K a year be spent going forward? I realize that this program may well be perfectly logical and worthwhile. That possibility really hard to see though based on the content of this particular article.

mudcat
mudcat's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
A rehash of PTC One for a mere $170k a year? Sounds good.

I think what will evolve is a couple of paid staff members who have the ability to conduct surveys, generate press releases, operate a website, handle fund-raising and lobby local and state government. Doing a little bit of everything but nothing completely or throughly. It will be sort of a clearing house for public and private projects and depending upon the quality of the staff, may be able to forge some partnerships that actually accomplish something.

Sure is clear as mud right now, but maybe after they hire a staff, specific goals and measurable objectives will emerge. If not, a huge waste of time and energy. Or they may choose not to hire a staff and just pay consulting fees to this Market Street Group which doesn't give me a good feeling. Where does this money come from? And why?