The time is right for a new Fayette vision
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.]