Fayette County is on the move — welcome aboard!
By ROBERT ROSS and TREY RAGSDALE
Many of us moved to Fayette County for its highly regarded public schools, low crime rates, and the wide-open spaces, or maybe the charm of small towns like Tyrone, Brooks, and Woolsey.
We also recognize the need for a vibrant economy to provide career opportunities right here for our children, along with the attendant challenges of growth.
How do we retain our character and grow too? How do we maximize our strengths and respond to threats? How do we thrive without selling the soul of Fayette County?
Last October, about 40 Fayette County citizens spent several days in Williamson County, Tenn., to help discover some answers. Fayette shares a number of demographic and geographic similarities with that Tennessee powerhouse, and we wanted to learn from their exceptional success.
Insights from the trip, combined with months of thoughtful consideration and research by a diverse steering committee, concluded the need to investigate a countywide vision and a detailed plan to achieve it. Prospering communities across the U.S. that had already taken such efforts were benefitting significantly from their commitments.
Committee members were confident that our community of highly educated and involved citizens, along with our desirable geography and proximity to metro Atlanta, would benefit tremendously from its own visioning process.
The steering committee also concluded that Fayette citizens were clearly up to the task, and would be well served by some expert assistance. After a two-month search, the committee asked two consulting organizations to present proposals to some 150 Fayette County citizens last Friday at the Dolce Conference Center.
That very mixed audience of elected officials, business owners, high school students, non-profit workers, retirees, entrepreneurs, executives, and others listened intently and questioned the briefers for two hours.
Afterwards, they discussed the visioning concept overall (“We definitely need to pursue it!”) and expressed their preference for Market Street Services as the county’s partner to assist with technical research, analysis, interviews, and group moderation.
Now the real work begins, and everyone with ideas and opinions will be able to participate (after all, it will be a Fayette County vision!).
Through a website, surveys, and, in some cases, interviews, focus groups, and committee work, you can help develop the vision and plan.
Of course, there’s never a free lunch, but we can reduce the price with your contributions of time, in-kind support, meeting spaces, and funding. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate your help.
Stay tuned, there’s much more to come!
Bob Ross & Trey Ragsdale
Fayette County Visioning Steering Committee