The time is right for a new Fayette vision

Dawn C. Oparah's picture

As an almost 25-year resident of Fayette County, I could not be happier about the current Fayette Visioning Initiative taking place right now.

When my husband took a job in Troup County and we needed to move from Decatur, we searched hard for the best environment to raise our young family. We relocated to Peachtree City because of the excellent schools and as a great place to bring up our children. Many people locate to Fayette County for the same reasons.

Over the years I have witnessed a great deal of change and growth in our county. I often hear people say we don’t want to be like “that” county. You can fill in the blank. Change is inevitable. One can either fear change or get in front of that change and help to shape it through a clear vision and plan to create the environment that makes so many of us choose Fayette County as home.

A few years ago, I participated as the Fayette Fund Community Foundation attempted to bring the county leadership together to discuss how we could maintain a healthy and thriving community. At the time we did not have the public will or leadership in place to mobilize the community to plan its better future. Timing is everything, and when the time is right the stars do align themselves.

A leadership trip organized by the Fayette Chamber in October of 2012 took about 45 Fayette County citizens and leaders to Williamson County, Tenn., and was the catalyst to this current visioning process.

There we saw a community, similar to Fayette County, growing and thriving in the midst of change. On this trip we saw what it takes for citizens to work together for the greater good of the community.

We all came back with the singular purpose of galvanizing our community together to ensure a plan for the future so that Fayette County will continue to be a great place to live, work and play.

The time is now right to work together as a community to manage our growth and development. The opening of Pinewood Studios is a part of the new landscape of Fayette County, as are demographic changes.

We can together look at and plan for our needs for transportation, job creation, affordable housing, education opportunities in K-12 education and higher education, a college and career academy, safety and health.

We can answer the questions: How do we attract a younger generation while providing for our aging population? How do we become more inclusive in sharing leadership with the new diverse community that is now Fayette? How do we acknowledge our differences and still live in harmony for our better future? How do we put the needs of the community above singular agendas?

How do we love our community enough to stretch ourselves to be selfless and engaged to leave a legacy that future generations will say, “Thank goodness those folks back in 2013-14 created a vision that has assured us a great community”?

I am involved in this visioning process because I do indeed love my community and I want the best for it now and in the future. I hope others feel the same way and see the need to be engaged in this process.

It is not often we get to shape our future, so when the time is right, we need all hands on deck to create positive and enduring change.

Please visit www.fayettevision.org and learn more about the visioning process and how you can be a part of it.

[Dawn C. Oparah is vice president of Amadi Leadership Associates, Inc. and consultant for AVPRIDE, Inc. and a member of the Fayette Visioning Initiative Steering Committee and board member for the Fayette Chamber of Commerce.]

moelarrycurly
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If you hurry

you can get to Dragging For Dollars at 7 tonight. Of course, if we had a performing arts center here, you would not have to hurry. The afterparty should be a real hoot.

http://www.mycoweta.com/events/coweta/pages/20140227-dragging-for-dollar...

Robert W. Morgan
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I don't want to be a curmudgeon, but this link sucks

Or if it does not suck for you, it is at the very least inappropriate and certainly a waste of money.
You bozos who thought the old development authority was inappropriate, tell me why this stuff is a better use of tax dollars? huh?

moelarrycurly
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My point exactly

for those who whine about what Fayette does not have for Arts and what Coweta does, this really takes the cake. At $10. a person, how much of that paltry amount even goes to the charity? If I want to watch a bunch of old guys, put a Hawaiian shirt and a lei on those Beach Boys and crank up some classic tunes. The Beach Boys on a hot summer's night with some cool beverages and an even cooler ride on the cart after the sun goes down. There is (are) some performing arts to enjoy at The Fred.

Husband and Fat...
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Fayette Vision Survey

I noticed this morning the Vision Website they posted that they received 1450 responses to their survey request. Based on our county population of 106,000, this means that only 1.4% of the county responded.

This is a shame. Less people percentage wise responded to this than the former PTC mayors survey last year.

Apathy? Absolutely.

This vision is important to each of us and the county. I have ideas why I think this number was low and I would like to hear others opinion.

moelarrycurly
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H&F Here's more info for you

Check out the Tyrone Council meeting minutes from Nov. 21st. Seems Ms. Gibbs answered where this took off. "Our last Chamber of Commerce meeting of approximately 60 local business leaders, asked the Chamber to continue with the 20 year vision for Fayette County." Maybe rwm was there and can shed some light on that.

Notice what Ms. Gibbs said regarding Housley and Woody and Hood. Don't know these citizens personally, but I do know Woody is also on the BOD of the FCDA. Guess that won't interfere with him being on the senior group that Ms. Gibbs sates some have been "approached to be a part of". Wonder who approached them. And who the others are in these groups.

If I lived in Tyrone, I would get my ears pointed into the wind, especially when they were told, "Tyrone will not be forgotten in this process and is positioned very near Pinewood Studios and I85. Tyrone will be well represented in this process."

There's more, just take a look. Now, let's see how much Tyrone ponies up in the cash dept. They had no meeting in December, so should be coming this month or next, my guess.

Husband and Fat...
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MLC - I read the Tyrone Meeting Minutes

Thank you

The Vision group is in fact working for the FC BOC.

Bob Ross may not have lied, but he sure didn't tell the truth, like many suspected.

With all the termoil at the BOC, I'm not sure what is going on, but none of them have been transparent about this.

Shame on all of them and shame on the Vision people who have their own motives.

Whatever happened to honor?

moelarrycurly
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Hey h&f

Who's in bed with who? Seems a whole lotta lovin' going on in this county.

Add this to the list. The newly re-appointed Tyrone town attorney is also the interim county attorney. However, he is on the agenda Thursday evening to be appointed county attorney, also.

Man, can we just be in bed with each other any more without getting a disease or two?

From Oddo's comment, he is going to suck it up and appoint himself chair, for the sake of the county. Everyone is now doing the "for the sake of the county" mantra.

Oh buhrutherrr.

AtHomeGym
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MLC & Comm Oddo

You ever had a conversation (face to face or email exchange) with him? Suggest you try it--you might be surprised! And yes, I've done both.

moelarrycurly
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ahg

Actually, I had a very short encounter with him last summer and was not impressed in any way. You don't need to get defensive for him. I am entitled to my opinion, based on what I know and have seen at meetings, and at this time, I feel Brown should continue as chair. I do not feel this county deserves a chair who has this martyr attitude. Also, if he feels this is going to solve personality conflict on that board, he is mistaken. Barlow is going to be empowered by this move of his and he will ramp it up.

AtHomeGym
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MLC & Opinion

Of course I don't need to defend him--he's quite capable of doing it himself--should it be necessary. And of course you can have your own opinion (never said or inferred otherwise). But neither you nor I will have a vote! Carry On!

moelarrycurly
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gym

I get that we won't have a vote. I don't want a vote. These 5 can have at each other for all I care. Do it behind closed doors and quit attacking publicly when things don't go their way, I say. Now, I have to batten down my hatches for old man winter, he's coming to visit us tonight. Hope you and the Mrs. stay warm and cozy!

Husband and Fat...
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Yup for the sake of the county

And the Oddo Bro. land holdings.

Of course the Chamber is going to look after everyone. We need more areas zoned commercial so we can get more fast food.

Husband and Fat...
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Thank you

Please correct me if I'm on the wrong path. The Fayette Chamber of Commerce doesn't trust our commissioners to update the comprehensive plan, so they offer to do this for them and just have them sign off.

Commission sees this as saving money and time, not having staff and consultants put this together knowing full well that the chamber is in business to maximize profits by supporting high density, more retail, ect..

Commission demands something and appoints Mr. Ross as their insider.

It's the county's job to execute this report. If they want to use consultants, fine. But be transparent.

What happened to their campaign promises?

Guess SB can say goodbye to his slow growth plan and wipe his hands clean.

RKS
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VIsion
Husband and Father of 2 wrote:

I noticed this morning the Vision Website they posted that they received 1450 responses to their survey request. Based on our county population of 106,000, this means that only 1.4% of the county responded.

This is a shame. Less people percentage wise responded to this than the former PTC mayors survey last year.

Apathy? Absolutely.

This vision is important to each of us and the county. I have ideas why I think this number was low and I would like to hear others opinion.

My guess is because people don't know about it...I just happened to see it on here....I would venture to say that most of Fayette County does not read the Citizen....younger folks rely on twitter and such.

Editor
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Our online readers skew heavily 18-34

 

You are in error about our online edition. See below for Google Analytics:

 

 

This is for the 12-month period ended Dec. 25, 2013.

 

And how many different people ("unique visitors) actually viewed our site? Again Google Analytics for the same 12-month period:

 

 

 

We are a local news site, but we have pretty good traffic.

 

Husband and Fat...
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So, Mr. Editor

What's your thought on the poor number of responses?

Editor
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Competing with Santa and Amazon Prime

Bad timing. Besides, truth be told, who would want (or could pay) to tabulate 10 times the responses they actually received?

National random samples usually number under 1,200 responses. This wasn't random, but it was never intended to be.

It will serve the purpose for which it was intended, the same as a voter turnout of a few percent will nonetheless install elected officials who wield power over 100% of us.

Apathy? That presumes that caring about the future of Fayette equates to taking an online survey.

IMHO, if you want a true random sampling of how Fayette Countians feel about what should come next, pay the $25K or so for a real survey outfit to do the job.

But here's the $64M question: What if you don't like the answers?

Robert W. Morgan
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Apathy is here for sure, Trust about the sponsors is another

When I look at the Board of Directors or Sponsors or whatever they are, I see 2 things:
1. Big business - aka commercial development
2. Diversity - aka multi-family housing and more rentals.

I took the survey and saw that. Those that did not take the survey still probably don't know that yet. Many more are disinterested and will never have a clue about what is going on.

Believe me, they are going to use the survey results to bring in more density and more commercial and possibly another annexation. You will see this survey waived around in some county meeting with some political hack saying "This is what the people said they want". Trust me. That is next. It won't take long before Steve Brown gets on board with this to help himself with his next step up. He may even say he was the "political architect" of the Pinewood deal. Can you imagine that?

The Group VI machine is working great and is well fueled and oiled. Look at Sandy Springs 25 years ago (like PTC was then) and look at it now. That's a much better comparison than all you dopes who throw around Riverdale as the future.

Take the survey, people. Come on. Ain't that hard. Respond as if you like living in Fayette County.

Personally I understand the need for commercial and multi-family, to support Pinewood - and rest assured, that's what this "Vision" thing is all about - no doubt whatsoever. And if you agree - take the survey. If you disagree - take the survey.

moelarrycurly
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Apathy and let me add

complacency. Complacency that I like things here enough to not worry they will change. Complacency that I will only be here another 5 or 10 years till the kids graduate or I get transferred or I retire then who cares, I will have moved on by then. Or, I am so old, I won't care what this county looks like in 5-10 years. I have it much better than anyone in the surrounding counties, so what do I care. I can see many saying that to themselves. That and they will develop anyway, regardless of any comments I make on a survey. It's all about who has the money to convince the politicians that the county needs what they are selling.

Those are not my thoughts, but I know they are thoughts of many who live here and just let others run this county for them and cannot even find the time to do a touchscreen vote every 2 years. They won't speak up till the plans are going through, approvals and deals have been made, and they read about it in The Citizen. Then they get all ornery about it for a while, and then just get disgusted and say, well, nothing I can do to change it.

This survey is going to be an impetus to get some sort of public transportation going, at least one large indoor venue for events, such as an auditorium or performing arts center. All paid with visions of the hundreds of thousands of tax dollars flooding this county from Pinewood and associated businesses.

Too late to take the survey. It's done. I want to know who put up the 10 thousand in seed money that EMC did not cover out of the 60 thousand. Anyone know who?

Robert W. Morgan
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You are correct, the survey is closed with 1450 responses

Wow, that's going to be hard to spin in a positive way. Practically anyone in the survey business will tell you a 1% sampling is always skewed in favor of whatever the hidden or not so hidden agenda is. In this case, its as if the committee and a few other people took the survey. Big waste of somebody's money. EMC? City of PTC's CVB? Wonder who else?

I don't think a performing arts center or public transportation has a prayer of a chance, although the bias towards them was obvious in the survey. It would take some real chutzpah for someone to wave around a 1% sampling to push for either public transportation or a performing arts center. I think the survey has died a natural death. The apartments and multi-family zonings will still appear, but the survey won't be the tool used to wedge them into our lives.

BTW, That's a real good definition of complacency and how it works in our back yard. Ain't gonna change either.

Husband and Fat...
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Vision Spin

The vision website has a big explaination point after the 1450 number. They are obviously proud getting 1.4% of the population on their side, lol. I think you're right about skewing in favor of the agenda. After completing the survey at work one morning, I completed it again at home two nights later.

Guess they are trying to keep up with the Jones (Clayton County) who are discussing a splost for an auditorium or something like that.

The whole veil of community involvement is a joke. And if the county approves of the tail wagging the dog, then we all voted for the wrong transparent people, preacher man included.

AtHomeGym
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RWM & Vision

I thought the PTC City Council ponied up 10K,

moelarrycurly
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ahg

To clarify, the council voted to approve the expense. The money came out of the city general fund.

The only female council member candidate received her largest campaign contribution ($750.) from a principal owner of Promaker Development Group, of Pinewood fame.

Husband and Fat...
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They advertised

In the paper, on twitter to the students at high schools, facebook, and every day on the public tv.

Davids mom
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Apathy?

Or a fear of inevitable change. With the arrival of Pinewood and additional educational opportunities in Fayette County - change is inevitable - but by working together - the change can be beneficial. If the 1400+ citizens who have responded all agree with one another - another point of view will not be heard or acted upon. I hope more respond.

Husband and Fat...
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DM - I don't understand

I don't understand your point.

98% of the Fayette population failed to reply?

Why is that? There has to be a reason. Apathy? The holiday rush? Trust?

What's your opinion?

Davids mom
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H&F

I think others have shared their valid opinions. I care for selfish reasons. I want the property value of Fayetteville to improve; I want young people to be attracted to the area and it's schools. I want people to invest in what is perceived as a safe, secure community. In my lifetime, I have witnessed the power of the so-called 'silent and unwashed' in society. I have witnessed the devastation that the silence of the true majority can bring on society. Maybe asking the religious community in Fayette County to encourage participation in this survey will help. How about putting flyers in the many restaurants in FC. I agree, because life appears to be 'pleasant' in present day FC, the attitude of the 'future' of this county is being overlooked by some. If the 'talking heads' really want honest input into the vision, they'll do a better job of 'reaching out'.

I don't think the advertising campaign or the timing of the survey are 'accidental'. I hope they extend the time of participation, and get more input. I bet if they claim the survey indicates a MARTA station across the street from the court house, the response will be different! LOL!

PTC Observer
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H&F - Human Nature

If you have ever belonged to any sort of club, you will realize that less than 10% of the members seem to make a difference. They show up, they organize, they participate, they drive the direction of the activities. It's the same people over and over again that do this. The same thing happens in a democracy, it isn't that majority rules, it is that the majority of the active participants rule. As the editor points out, this is why as small group can take over the government and run it to serve their purposes. What group or groups have the most to gain from the visioning process? Answer this and there you will find the primary source of the participants in the survey as well as the funding for same.

There's nothing noteworthy in this observation, it is how democracy works. It is human nature to vote and act in your own self interest. People complain a lot about how things are in our county, state and country, but few take action to correct them.

In the case of "visioning" for the county, my guess is that the vast majority of people don't care much about it one way or the other. Today.

Husband and Fat...
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Your're right PTCO

10% do the work and others follow.

It's a shame.

I see it every day with the youth organizations. Good or bad, it's the same people year after year.

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