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Storylines emerge in Fayette Vision

Robert Ross's picture

By Bob Ross and Trey Ragsdale

We’d like to personally thank the approximately 160 Fayette citizens who attended the March 5, 2014 Fayette Visioning public meeting at Sandy Creek High School.

Though the Competitive Assessment report was released to the public earlier in the year, this meeting marked the first time the public heard directly from our consulting partner Market Street Services, Inc. about the visioning process stages and the research showing Fayette County’s current economic, demographic and physical characteristics.

It’s always eye-opening to have a third party like Market Street conduct a detailed, factual analysis of your community. They don’t harbor pre-conceived notions or rely on popular impressions. They do gather a considerable amount of information from a variety of sources to assess where Fayette County stands compared to other counties, the region, the state, and the nation.

Market Street identified eight “storylines” or themes about Fayette County that emerged from data research and public input. Those storylines include: Growth and Migration; Shifting Race and Ethnicity; Local Education: Preserving an Asset; Highly Educated and Affluent: But Are We Losing Ground; Recession, Recovery and Economic Transition; Spatial Mismatch: Resident Skills and Local Jobs; Quality of Life: Amenities, Mobility, and Housing Options; and Safety and Perception of Crime.

The research and the public input on these storylines will be the basis of the next phase of the process: crafting a vision plan.

We have asked for Fayette County citizen engagement in the process, and we are extremely pleased with the response we are getting so far.

In December, there were over 771 hours of active public input in the form of online survey responses, focus groups and one-on-one interviews.

From productive conversations between attendees Steering Committee members at this month’s public meeting, attendees gave almost 250 individual comments and suggestions in response to questions about each storyline.

Using the online forum MindMixer, there have been more than 720 participants engaging in discussions and giving suggestions and responses to the questions posed there, translating to more than 4,600 page views on that site.

It has been refreshing to see so many of our residents talking about how Fayette County’s future matters to them and to hear the ideas they believe will make our county great. But we still need your input.

The input and suggestions that we are receiving from the public are the topics that are driving the questions you will find on MindMixer. We encourage all Fayette County citizens and stakeholders to continue to visit the MindMixer site and join the discussions that are taking place. Your input continues to be critical to the success of this process.

MindMixer can be accessed at Questions and topics will be updated every two weeks until June so we encourage you to visit regularly.

You can also get the most up-to-date information about the process and the Competitive Assessment report detailing the eight storylines on our website

And you can always engage with us on social media at and on twitter @FCVisioning.

[Bob Ross and Trey Ragsdale are co-chairs of the Fayette Visioning Initiative Steering Committee.]


Does your 160 count include or exclude the politicians, the Fayette Vision committee members and Chamber of Commerce who were there? Yes, I know they are residents, too.

How are you counting multiple responses from the same individuals who contribute more than once on MindMixer? If I go on 5 different times and offer suggestions, am I counted as one of the 720 participants or as 5 of the 720 participants?

I was one of the 160 and most were politicians, city/county employees, and Chamber members, though there were citizens like myself. It would have been nice to have a name tag.

Bob spoke waaaay toooooo looong, and I found my eyes drooping, yawn.

Was very disappointed they cut the free mic off before all citizens had a chance to speak.

Hrs on line doesn't impress me. I have stayed on accidently a few times. The 720 participants has to include people posting more than once.

The mixer website is also difficult to maneuver, but that's probably just me, lol

Couple questions Bob:

1. Please advise who first came to you about this committee? Who chose the committee members? How were you elected chair? Who brought in Trey and what does he do?

2. Why is your buddy, the commission chair so inconspicuous about this committee?

3. Please review those numbers announced for the mindmixer poll. Many of the posts aren't suggestions but confirmations and thanks from committee members when they actually find responses,

4. How do you plan to implement any of the recommendations if the county/city plan doesn't authorize the recommended changes.

5. Who are you going to campaign for Pota or McCarty?

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