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Get involved in your future

This evening, the Oxford community is invited to voice their thoughts and ideas on the county’s ongoing efforts to update the comprehensive plan.

Beginning at 6 p.m. at the Oxford Conference Center, residents are encouraged to hear a presentation regarding the comprehensive plan, as well as offer input to those directly involved in the process of modernizing the plan.

The town hall meeting is the latest in a series of public meeting’s regarding the comprehensive plan.

Residents are also invited to participate by creating a dialogue of what they would like for the future of the county.

County officials are using the town hall meetings as a means of allowing the people to have their input included in the comprehensive plan. Previous meetings have been held in Yocona and Philadelphia, with future meetings planned for College Hill and Taylor.

For several weeks, county officials and appointed residents have been meeting with several different individuals, county department heads and with the comprehensive plan developer, Mike Slaughter of Slaughter & Associates, to gather information and to gain knowledge in what the updated comprehensive plan should entail. The town hall meetings are the chance for the community to hear what progress is being made, as well as exchange ideas.

So many people are quick to complain that they have no say-so when it comes to government, and to an extent that may be true on a national and perhaps even a state level. But the government that most directly impacts us is our local government. This is a way for folks to affect policy in government and control to some extent the direction they would like to see their community grow in the immediate and long-range future.

In the town hall meeting I attended at Yocona, several folks seemed concerned with the issue of zoning in the county and what impact it may have on the community, both positively and to some, in a negative way.

Keep in mind, the comprehensive plan is in no way a form of zoning, but zoning will eventually happen in some form in order to give some teeth to the comprehensive plan that is developed.

During the Yocona meeting, several folks had thoughts and ideas and comments during the power-point presentation, which was good that they wanted to have a say-so, but I would suggest there be a comment portion after the presentation in order for every one to understand and hear what Mr. Slaughter has to say. A few residents were dismayed at the Yocona meeting for not being able to hear the questions being offered when the presentation was interrupted.

I’d also like to commend our elected county government officials for allowing residents in the community the opportunity to lend their voice to the future of Lafayette County. Now it’s up to you to participate.

It’s your choice. Change is coming and you can be part of the direction.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.