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2020 brings with it the excitement of not only a new year, but a new decade.And it is sure to be an historical decade for our community. The groundwork laid from months of planning, research and hard work has become our new baseline. In 2020, we can see clearly what we are aiming at.
So, after all we have accomplished over the last decade, what opportunities are we focused on as we move forward?
We have something to “sell.”
What brings people to a community? What makes people want to stay in a community? It’s the environment. The vibe. It’s all the excitement and optimism a community exudes. People want to be on the train that’s moving forward! This year, we will start telling our story. We will strategically market ourselves. Different messages will target different objectives. The variables which a residential developer considers in order to make a business decision and build here are different than the retailer who sees an opportunity to market his wares to a growing population. Marketing our unique access to the great natural resources, trails and community events we have in Montgomery County paint a picture that folks living outside of our boundaries, might be very interested in.
Making the upgrades to our inadequate infrastructure is a major opportunity and priority.!
Maintenance and improvements to our roads and bridges is expensive. Making management decisions based on data will not only maximize our limited tax dollars but increase our efficiency and effectiveness. Having the technology that our citizens can get real time information and updates on daily processes will be a welcome change from the past.
The outstanding citizens of our community who are now involved in “the process” is a game changer.
People are standing up and volunteering to be on the team. Daily, I hear comments like; “It’s exciting to see the changes being made, and I believe my time will not be wasted.” Honestly, it takes a whole community to move forward. Local government was never intended to be left to just a few! This excitement is sure to increase as our many projects become realities
Getting our financial house in order will pay huge dividends in the years to come.
Having a long-range plan instead of a “band aid” approach to pay for our ever-increasing costs of services is an important part of our overall plan. The team of advisors working to teach us new approaches to funding, and spreading costs more evenly over more taxpayers, instead of increasing the tax burden on a few. With a goal of eventually reducing the tax rates on our citizens seems likely.
Relationships developed because we reached out to our already prospering neighboring counties and communities to learn what strategies they have in place to create a better lifestyle for their citizens.
How we implement our own strategies will speed our progress towards reaching our goals.
These relationships have also identified opportunities to partner on projects that will benefit both of our communities and create even bigger returns because of economies of scale; something which couldn’t happen without a partnership.
These are just a few of the good things that our diligence and hard work have provided us, and there are many great opportunities we haven’t even realized that could come our way. And it’s all because, as a community, we collectively made a decision to no longer settle. We decided to no longer sit idly by and watch our kids leave our community for opportunities elsewhere. It’s an exciting time for us and we have only just begun!
John Frey is a Montgomery County Commissioner and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out the Commish Facebook page @montgomerycountycommish.