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What is your role in the Fayette Visioning Initiative?

Robert Ross's picture

While the Fayette Visioning Initiative’s steering committee is hard at work incorporating citizen ideas into a final draft vision statement, it’s the perfect time to look at the respective roles of this 40-member steering committee and Fayette County citizens at large.

The steering committee certainly doesn’t have a corner on the market for good ideas — that’s a responsibility shared among all of us in the county.

The steering committee does not have any authority to compel citizens to accept or implement the plan. Instead we will embrace a good, common sense plan that the community has collectively developed.

Scores of people will make it successful as they accomplish sections that are most important to them — it could be goals for the arts and recreation, education, public safety, economic development, or others.

So what do steering committee members do?

They highly value and seriously consider citizen input when approving milestone documents — the Competitive Assessment, Vision Statement, and Implementation Plan.

And there’s been a lot of input so far: over 770 hours of input from participants in focus group, interviews, and surveys, 250 comments by forum attendees, and on-line ideas and comments from over 720 people. Add in remarks made during speaking engagements, and you get an idea of what’s involved.

The committee is responsible for informing citizens about the visioning process and keeping transparent records available on our website, www.FayetteVision.org.

Looking down the road, committee members must also recruit citizens to lead and serve on groups that accomplish the goals we collectively establish. And of course, there’s no free lunch, so the committee has to lead efforts to raise funds to pay planning and implementation expenses.

That leaves YOU; what’s your role?

Concerned citizens stay engaged, post comments and give ideas on the MindMixer “digital town hall.” It’s on our website, which we monitor regularly and use in the visioning process.

Citizens can also invite a visioning speaker to a business, governmental, social, service, civic or neighborhood group in order to inform and engage an even broader audience. They can further spread the word through emails, word of mouth, newsletters or a letter to the newspaper.

The steering committee relies on constructive critiques, especially when accompanied by suggested solutions. Some citizens have coordinated an appointment with a committee member to learn more about certain aspects of the process and ask detailed questions.

In the near future, you can volunteer as a leader or team member to pursue vision implementation goals; we expect the steering committee to approve goals by mid-June.

And finally, we always welcome efforts to coordinate a monetary contribution from your business, church, service organization, or yourself. You may contact us at info@FayetteVision.org.

Achieving and sustaining excellence is a particularly rewarding challenge ... there’s a lot on all our plates to best prepare students, further enhance our place and community, and become an economic hub with quality jobs for all who seek them.

Fayette has the imagination, intellect, resources, and gumption to accomplish just that. We look forward to our continued community partnership while doing so.

The Fayette Visioning Initiative is diverse group of Fayette County business and community leaders who have come together to lead the community through a process to create a five-year vision plan for Fayette County. Further information about the visioning process, the list of steering committee members and important process documentation can be found at www.FayetteVision.org.

All citizens and stakeholders can give their input on the process at http://FayetteVision.mindmixer.com. Email info@FayetteVision.org to join the mailing list or request a visioning speaker for your group or organization.

[Bob Ross and Trey Ragsdale are co-chairs of the Fayette Visioning Initiative Steering Committee.]

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