Nothing affects a group of people on a common level as much as tragedy and heartache.
It suddenly brings different people of different backgrounds and different personalities together for a singular cause.
That’s what is happening with the residents of The Falls subdivision, people in western Newton County, the Newton County Board of Commissioners and motorists from all over who have traveled through the intersection of Ga. Hwy 212 and Bethany Road.
Following the vehicular fatality of 67-year-old Curtis Douglas Baxter, Newton County commissioners pleaded for a change at the intersection during a public meeting at the Newton County Historic Courthouse. Newton County Chair Keith Ellis then sent a letter to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Members of The Falls were meeting and signing a petition in order to enact change. As of Friday afternoon, that petition received more than 750 signatures.
That’s a lot of separate voices coming together to get something resolved.
Merriam-Webster labels the definition of community as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.”
A community took shape in order to save lives, prevent further heartbreak and make an area of Newton County safer.
That should be happening every day. Not just when tragedy strikes but also in order to advance each other individually and as a community.
When schools struggle or a nuclear family fails, a community can pave the way to creating better educational opportunities or providing support for children and adults. When finances fall and creature comforts diminish, a community can pave the way toward the restoration of financial security. When public officials struggle to improve the lives of their constituents, community can pave the way by offering support and direction.
A community is working together for a traffic light at Bethany Road and Ga. 212. The Georgia Department of Transportation is doing traffic studies. The urging of neighbors, politicians and concerned individuals has led to awareness and changes, and is leading to improvements in the everyday lives of Newton County residents.
We applaud this action. We are grateful that neighbors worked together; that elected officials helped get their message to the proper channels; and that all worked to make sure people can be safe in the future when traveling through that area.
There is still plenty of work to be done. After all, currently the area is just under study. But the voices that have come together are more likely to be heard than if they were separate. A community is a bigger, greater entity than an individual.
We encourage you that when there is a chance to come together, do so.
Just last week, the Newton County Board of Commissioners met with the mayors of the county’s municipalities. It was a chance for each entity that represented every Newton County citizen to present their goals, the goings-on of the region and their interest in its future.
It was a step to becoming a community paving the way for a shared future.
We hope this trend continues but not just for our mayors and board of commissioners and not just in times of tragedy and need. We hope each resident, every day, truly feels a part of this community.