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Play your part in next step for Fayette Visioning

Robert Ross's picture

Citizens are invited to learn and take part in the next steps for Fayette’s plan for the future on Tuesday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree.

As announced last week, the Fayette Visioning Initiative Steering Committee recently adopted a vision statement and plan that outlines specific goals, objectives and tactics for Fayette County that elevates education, economic development, employment opportunities and quality of life to unrivaled heights.

Considerable citizen input was requested and compiled over the last nine months to ensure a vision plan that truly reflects the desires and needs of the Fayette community.

The Vision Plan identifies four major interrelated focus areas — education, economy, community and place — to lay the framework for the implementation plan for Fayette’s future. Within each focus area, the plan outlines goals, specific action steps to meet these goals, as well as the impact to our community should no action be taken.

The first area of focus outlined in this column last week was education, which defined Fayette’s K-12 school system as the hallmark of our community. The plan aspires to further advance our strong school system to a world class K-12 education center of excellence and lifelong learning by developing strategic uses of technology between schools and the business community; more fluid teaching methodologies, and a full continuum of education options in the county.

As we look at the second focus area of economy, the plan indicates that continued economic growth and competitiveness in Fayette County can be sustained by providing local jobs that align more with resident skills.

Supporting business in core economic sectors, such as aviation, healthcare and professional services, is critical to long-term economic development success. Expanding fiber infrastructure, developing a coordinated talent attraction marketing campaign and optimizing an Industry Council are all ways that can elevate Fayette’s economic competitiveness.

Enhanced support of small business and entrepreneurs will also increase opportunities for residents to work where they live. Establishment of an incubator or accelerator to provide tools and mentor small business growth will attract and retain businesses that employ Fayette residents. With a more localized workforce, residents can spend less time commuting out of Fayette and have an opportunity to feel more connected to Fayette.

The recent arrival of the film and entertainment industry offers a unique opportunity to capitalize on economic growth. The plan recognizes that strategic actions focusing on relationships with local vendors and production companies will be critical to developing a sustainable film and entertainment industry cluster.

It is important to remember that the goals and actions set forth in the Vision Plan are for purposes of direction and make allowances for goals to change as opportunities and resources evolve. Continued citizen involvement is critical at this stage of the process as we transition forward to the implementation phase.

The Steering Committee invites all Fayette citizens and stakeholders to our next public meeting Tuesday, July 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree. An overview of the Vision Plan will be presented in a large group setting followed by breakout sessions led by members of the Steering Committee.

In those small group sessions, citizens can learn detailed information about the plan’s four areas of focus and corresponding action items, learn how to engage in the process and ask any questions about the process and future implementation plan.

Next week, we will visit plan highlights around the third area of focus — community.

The Fayette Visioning Initiative is a 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 complete Vision Plan document, the list of Steering Committee members, and other important process documentation can be found at www.FayetteVision.org. 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.]


Next week, we would like to hear from the other co-chair.

Thank you for the invite to listen to your presentation. Hopefully it will be as riveting as the first dog and pony show. You will have to excuse my interruption when I arrive late. Apparently no one actually read the report which indicated that the majority of working residents work outside the county. Please save a water and Danish for me.

It was said somewhere that if you say or write something over and over, it becomes the truth. While the vision crew did permit people to utilize the mindmixer website, it is the belief of many that they became frustrated with the poor navigation around the site that they just gave up. In addition, the return comments from were stale and simply southern hospitality.

Yes, the vision reflects some groups desires. I also approve of many ideas. But the majority focus mainly with the COC. Let's examine the incubator idea. Isn't this the goal of the COC? Share ideas with one another to develop and help one another? The strongest incubators around the country are centered around universities and professors who end up taking a cut of the profits. Other strong incubators are located in the inter city with public transportation that allow people to earn a living during the day and build their dreams at night with the support of investors who supply professionals and seed money, while also taking a portion of the profits on successful endeavors. Let the COC handle this alone without public funds researching this.

Focus groups bring together all people to discuss topics. Your group brought together similar people with similar goals. Your columnists, a realtor who wants to sell houses. A young professional who works for the development authority whose parents own a local business, all plants designed to manipulate.

While everyone was busy with their focus groups, the county and Peachtree City lost out to other locales like Newnan, who are still in the running for the super fiber that will be installed by Google and AT&T. What better start to attract business than to obtain the internet speeds that these companies bring? Where were the professionals to help with our sales pitch to win this infrastructure?

I know you don't want to lose control of the meeting, but I'd really like for you to open the floor to comments from us, unwashed. You know, the other 98% of the county that would have liked to have really been invited to contribute and be heard. Forget about teaching us about the 4 focus areas and the process (begging for money). We can read it in the report. Oh, but then we get back to paragraph 3 where you can say the public was involved.

One last item. This is for the county commission. I sincerely hope you do not approve the $50k donation to your good ole boy, until the majority of the county has time to understand and approves this vision.

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