Are We There Yet?

editorial-logo3Much has been said recently about the County’s vision for the future. I certainly agree that the County needs a vision and a direction. It just appears to me that, while reports are being written and meetings are being conducted, very little consideration is actually being given to what the general population wants for Jefferson County. There seems to be the same handful of people that have the privilege of sharing their vision and the rest of the County resident’s vision isn’t a consideration. The State of Tennessee is moving toward more input from citizens regarding issues like annexation, and the word referendum is being bounced around a lot on the State level. Yet, locally, the same handful of people or businesses are represented on Boards and Committees and the rest are simply the silent majority. Maybe the masses agree with the handful. Maybe they don’t but shouldn’t they be asked? When an even smaller handful of people appoint a small handful of people you are not getting a good representation of Jefferson County. I see very little diversity among the chosen. Most think and move alike, only the color of the suit is different. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that some step up and want to be heard but there need to be some new faces and they need to come from different places than the same old same old.

We do need a vision in Jefferson County because right now it is blurry at best. Some long for large industry, while others seek to establish a more small business approach to boosting the economy. According to a report to the Governor, 2014 is looking up economically and it would be nice if Jefferson County could capitalize on the momentum. The question of a vision is a frustration for both those that long for big industry and those that simply don’t share their direction. We certainly do need an identity and a plan to move forward. Around 53,000 people live in Jefferson County and I just don’t think that consulting the same handful of people over and over again will result in any answers that are representative of Jefferson County as a whole. Sometimes good ideas come from seemingly unlikely places. Do we need a vision for Jefferson County? Yes, and we need it yesterday but it simply cannot be something that is thrust upon the citizens of this County. We need to learn to like each other again and trust each other again before we will be ready to travel forward together. Other wise we are just kids in the backseat, fighting over the window seat and repeatedly asking Are we there, yet? without having any real idea about the destination or the road we must travel to get there.

Source: K. Depew, News Director