On Saturday of last week, I attended the annual workshop meeting of the folks who make Newton County’s 2050 plan work.
Many folks seem to still ask, what is the 2050 plan? Although there have been many ways to learn the answer to this question, with story after story written about the plan every year since its concept was hatched 10 years ago to plan out the growth of Newton County.
Never fear though. If you still don’t know about the concept and the plans for our future development, you will over the next year.
What I like about the main feature of the program is that it allows our elected and community leaders a chance to meet together, leave their ego’s and perceived ideas at the proverbial door and to sit together and work on ideas to grow our community, while willing to compromise to insure those ideas take root and begin to work.
What surprised me is that in the 10 years that this plan was first developed only about eight people are still involved, which means that a whole new generation has stepped up to the plate to carry on the dream that Newton County can be a better place to live and work.
One idea that came out of Saturday’s meeting was to formulate a program that would involve the young professionals who live in our community. That task was given to county manager John Middleton.
If he accomplishes this task, it would be his last hurrah in a leadership role in the county, as he has plans to step down from his position as county manager this year.
One objection to the concept of the 2050 plan is that some of our older land owners in the county feel the plan will end up taking their land away for development, or that they won’t be able to develop their property as they wish.
It is my opinion that this notion is not true. The plan, in fact, will insure that we have good positive growth without hurting any current landowner’s property.
We are fortunate that the head, and driving force, behind the 2050 plan is Kay Lee – she is a human dynamo who insures that the plan is fed by the smartest and most capable planners in the country.
Her energy and determination empowers others to believe that, as time progresses and we head toward the year 2050, our county will be the showcase for urban and suburban development in the country.
If this ever-developing plan comes to fruition, our children and grandchildren will not have to leave, and their experience and expertise can be utilized here as we continue to grow in a most positive way.
The only complaint I have is that it is a shame that our community leaders in the 1960’s and 70’s didn’t have the same vision as our leaders did 10 years ago. If they had, we might not have a county split in two by two different lifestyles and two different cultures today as we have today.
T. Pat Cavanaugh is the publisher of The News. He can be contacted at 770-787-6397 or firstname.lastname@example.org