Coming to a Fire Station Near You

One of the Alamance Strategic Plan Meetings was held last night–the one in Mebane.

What is an Alamance Strategic Plan Meeting? I didn’t know before I went last night.

Much like successful companies have mission statements that try to capture a cohesive vision for their identities and future growth, Alamance County has decided to get input from its communities on a vision for its future.

It was well worth my time. The facilitators kept things on track, there were good conversations, and we were done at 8:00 pm (it started at 6:00 pm).

But, I looked around at the other 20 people in the room and realized there were many communities, many of my neighbors, who were not represented.

I could have put up signs in my complex. I could have told people about it. But, I didn’t because I did not really know what was going to happen there. I hate wasting my time. I really hate wasting other people’s time.

This was not a waste of time.

But, I didn’t know that ahead of time. I like knowing what I’m getting myself into. So, if you are like me, here is the basic format of what occurred last night. I imagine it will be similar at the other area meetings.

We introduced ourselves: Name, connection to Alamance County, and what do we think is an unappreciated or underutilized resource of the county.

Then we broke up into small groups to discuss for 21 minutes what we would like to see in our county in any or all of the areas below.

  • Economic development
  • Infrastructure
  • Governance
  • Schools and education
  • Growth, development, and planning
  • Social issues
  • Public safety

(This was actually the least awkward group work I have done. I think that is because we had the freedom to direct our own conversations.)

We were able to write our group’s ideas on huge Post-it notes. (Those were really kind of cool. I have never seen Post-it notes that large before.) The notes were stuck on the big papers on the wall for each category, and then a spokesperson read all the notes in a particular category for final group input and clarification.

So, now that you know how it works–what input would you have?

The next meetings are

  • February 4 at Altamahaw-Ossippee fire station at 6:00 pm,
  • February 8 at Elon fire station at 6:00 pm,
  • February 18 at Swepsonville fire station at 6:00 pm, and
  • February 22 at Faucette fire station at 6:00 pm.

Are you part of a community that should be heard? We all should be heard. Libby Hodges is the Alamance County Planning Director, and she is organizing these meetings. She said she is happy to try to organize more of these meetings if you have a group in mind. And, she gave me permission to tell you exactly how to get in touch with her:

libby.hodges@alamance-nc.com

(336) 570-4052

One last note from me: Not only did I enjoy the meeting and get to participate in the conversation, but, as so often happens when interacting with our neighbors, I met new interesting people and learned additional great information.

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