Encouraged by Fayette Visioning Initiative

Allen Phinney's picture

My family has lived in Fayette County for eight years and we enjoy the unique quality of life, excellent schools, and many friendships.

I also rely on the economic growth and prosperity of our community for success in my career as the Market President for South Atlanta at BB&T.

As much as we have enjoyed and thrived in Fayette County, I know there are opportunities for improvement, and I took an opportunity recently to voice a few of my ideas on fayettevision.org.

For example: our schools are considered to be among the best in Georgia because we have very talented teachers and students with high levels of motivation. However, excellent education doesn’t just mean that we achieve good standardized test scores.

I very much believe the College and Career Academy would be a smart plan for the future of our schools, children, and community and would attract high quality business to our area.

Regarding the recreational opportunities available, I feel that we are behind many communities of similar size. We may be the only county within the greater metro Atlanta area that doesn’t have an adequate aquatic facility for our high school teams, club swim teams and for residents’ recreational use.

An important aspect of any good community is how effectively it deals with change, takes advantage of strengths and minimizes weaknesses. That is why I’m excited about the Fayette Visioning Initiative.

As citizens and business leaders in Fayette County, we have a unique opportunity through this process to help direct the future of our community, and even to participate in implementing the changes recommended through the initiative.

The steering committee has worked through many of our comments, ideas and concerns already, but a small percentage of residents have completed the survey on the Initiative’s web site or participated in the MindMixer topic, available at fayettevision.org.

We have good leaders in elected office, but the really great ideas and the drive to implement the best of those ideas comes from you and me.

Please join me in helping Bob Ross and Trey Ragsdale along with the Fayette Visioning Initiative Steering Committee to achieve a truly excellent and actionable, plan for the future of Fayette County.

[Allen Phinney is Market President of BB&T and a Fayette County resident for eight years.]

NeilSullivan
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Visioning: Brown and Learnard and Pinewood... oh my

With respect to Mr. Phinney and the Visioning team, I started to get the deju vu feeling all over again when pondering the comments on these boards over the past few weeks regarding the Pinewood abatements.

Visioning is fine as a strategic exercise when you have the right players involved. In our visioning, we have zero (public) participation from nearly all of our elected officials and none from our BOE or County Commission. That means when Mr. Ross and his co chair (but not Fayette resident) Trey Ragsdale come down with the vision on the stone tablets as presented by the consultants, we need only substitute Forshee with Ross and we have the same no one told me story.

It is apparent that some cannot wait to foist their pet projects while claiming it is only part of the vision that "everybody" or less than 5% of the population agreed to. Then here come the politicians to either defend the process or fight for the people.

The aquatic center above has been looking for a vehicle since the first ESPLSOT I worked on in 2008. The College and Career Academy sounds great to be honest, however, this seems like school stuff and was tabled there. I have said before the initial survey seemed to design to confirm that we need district voting, an arts center, college and career academy, "more young people", better jobs in Fayette County and a better participation rate with not for profits.

The concept of visioning sounds great and for the record this is not new. Someone who I believe said this is the eighth or ninth swing at visioning for Fayette County. Like Pinewood, it will continue to be great until the fine print in the study comes out. Then we will see shocked politicians and outraged bloggers. Seems like more of the same

Take Care

Husband and Fat...
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Neil and visioning

We both were in attendance for the March 5th meeting and witnessed first hand that the Vision folks / Chamber of Commerce, don't really want public participation. I get the Vision Mind-mixer updates emailed to me once or twice a week and its all the same stuff they have been pushing down our throats all along.

No one has ever answered any of the questions. How was Mr. Ross selected as the chair? Why is Mr. Ragsdale even involved other than his firm has a few clinics in the county?

I did see both the BOE and BOC present at the meeting in March. My guess is that they want to be hands off so they can say, this was your vision and we are only following the 5% of peoples direction.

While I enjoy the arts and swimming, we need an art center and an aquatic center like I need another hole in my head.

An art center is nice, but prove to me that it will be self sufficient. We have art and cultural centers throughout metro Atlanta. Lets be more creative and find something no-one else has.

An aquatic center has been on the agenda before and failed to gain any traction. If someone thought they could make a little money, we would already have one. The pool at Kedron is nice. I use it monthly, but I believe it too has had challenges staying in the black.

I would also bet you lunch, that someone from the COC asked Mr. Phinney to pen this letter as a way to meet their agenda.

If the vision people are serious, they will get rid of the mind-mixer, hold some open houses so that actual residents can become a part and share ideas in an open forum. When Mr. Ross limited the open dialogue in March due to his time constraints, I knew it was just for show.

Its early May. We are finishing school and taking care of all the end of the year activities and time is scare. June will be on us in no time along with a final report. I'm not holding my breath for any more real dialogue with the citizens.

PTC Observer
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H&F - Do us all

Do us all a favor, send your questions and concerns in writing directly to Mr. Ross and report back the response to us here on this blog. I have never known Mr. Ross to be a wallflower.

Also, I would appreciate hearing your ideas on what has been left off the "list", what do you think should be included and why? How would your list of proposals be funded?

Thanks

Husband and Fat...
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Tell me the Truth PTCO

Do you really think that with all the cultural and art centers in metro atlanta, we need another one here in FC?

Do you think we need a pool? If so, why aren't the high schools building them?

I went to the March meeting. Did you? If so, what did you think?

Have you been on the mind-mixer? I have and shared ideas. Go on line and contribute yourself. I find the website difficult to maneuver. Maybe you can navigate better. Have you read the feedback? Its like they don't even care..

So before you try to put me in my place, step up and share what you do.

PTC Observer
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Sorry H&F

I was not trying to "put you in place", I was serious. I can see that these issues bother you but I would suggest that you ask Mr. Ross and post his responses here. Or better yet, get him to respond on these pages as he does from time to time as "Citizen Bob".

I have no "vision" for Fayette County, you apparently do. No H&F, I am not that smart, only government is that bright, that's why we have so much of it. If they don't like your input they certainly won't like mine, I can guarantee it.

Here's my input, let the market decide and keep government out of providing services for the few at the expense of the many.

Husband and Fat...
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Vision

I've asked on here numerous times for Mr. Ross or anyone else for that matter to explain how he and Trey became chair. Its ignored and we all know that this is monitored.

You're right. If someone thinks the market needs it, they will build it. We all can choose whether to support it or not.

I agree with them. We need to recruit families. But this is a slippery slope. Do we lower our standards? You and I worked hard to afford to live hear. Do we build cheaper homes on smaller lots so that younger families can afford to live here?

From my perspective, this is the COC trying to push their agenda on us without the unwashed taking part.

If you were at the meeting, they spent a long time promoting themselves, then they cut short the open forum when people wanted to speak. I and others wanted to hear what people in the community had to say. The vision people didn't.

NeilSullivan
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PTC O, H&F unwashed and unconnected

I agree with Husband about the meeting. Nothing new and after 3 - 4 comments it was go and see our steering committee at the tables! But once you got there nice, nice people who could share zero about their topic and how it related to what's being sold.

Mr. Ross is a good guy in a bad spot. I do wish he would come and comment. This forum for all of its imperfections is the closest thing to a electronic town hall for Fayette County. The mind mixer thing is not. The Obamacare exchanges are better in my mind. Both times as ESPLOST chair I would come out here and answer what I could. If people were reasonable I would interact if not I would not. But end of the day we did everything we could to reach everybody we could. Not always fun but we felt it was important to talk to all of Fayette County about the ESPLOST even if we disagreed.

But what got my attention this time was a facebook discussion on public funds for this initiative. I was against and others were for. But what got my mind working was a certain group of people were almost passionate about spending the money. I thought this was weird knowing them but went on my way and then it hit me. They were all Fayette Democrats which was interesting. Then wonderered why. Still not sure which was their issue on my list above but it became appearant that people with that much push for public vision have a goal and a plan and here we are. Mr, Ross's friend Ms. Colston is on the steering committee. Not bad but a fact.

Then it hit me that while the steering committee is a farily large group now. It was tiny in the begining like when the "survey" was formed. I remember being interrupted on a post that I was going to comment that the only church represented was one that rented North Fayette Elementary and gave the committee money. Went back like a week later and saw larger group. (always double check). Thought nothing of it, and went on.

I beleive the people involved mean well in their way and are not evil or corrupt. I could go on how Darth Forshee was behind this all but Matt is a good guy who did good for Fayette County. But I do wonder how much is people trying to push agendas blocked by our unique set of local politicians. Too many things make me pause and enjoy the red flags march by which is concerning.

The truth is out there

Husband and Fat...
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PTCO and vision

You see PTCO, I might not be the brightest crayon in the box, but I can usually tell when when someone has a hand on my butt, they're about to make a move. I like many others are waiting to see what that the real move is about.

This is supposed to be a vision of the people, yet the people are shut out.

I don't believe Bob is part of the COC, so who got he and Trey involved and why? Who is the real puppet master behind the screen?

Why hasn't Pinewood or any on the Pinewood team not ponied up some money?

Have you tried to maneuver the mind-mixer? Neil hit it on the head, the Obamacare health website is easier to use. If it's that difficult to use, that's why we have less than 5% participation rate. The Vision people and Mr. Haddix can claim this is normal for a survey. I think it's an excuse not to try something with a better success ratio.

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