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VisionKershaw 2030 launches with Camden meeting

Posted: July 31, 2015 3:26 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Gary Phillips/C-I

Matthew Manley, facilitator for the Santee-Lynches Council of Governments, helps lead Thursday’s kickoff meeting of Vision2030 Kershaw County, a chance for county leaders and citizens to help draft a 15-year vision plan for the county.

Kershaw County took the first step in drafting a 15-year vision plan for the county with the first of several public information gathering meetings Thursday in the media center of Camden High School. 

State law requires counties and municipalities to submit a revised comprehensive plan every 10 years. Rather than have the new plan crafted solely by the planning and zoning department and other county officials, Kershaw County leaders hope to learn what the general public views as priorities going forward. Kershaw County Council Chairman Julian Burns opened the session.

“If you don’t care where you’re going, any road will get you there. Change is coming at us at a constant rate … 60 seconds every minute and 24 hours every day and we are in a position to influence our future,” Burns said.

The Santee-Lynches Council of Government (SLCOG) is assisting in the information gathering process and conducted the bulk of Thursday’s meeting. Participants were divided into several groups seated at tables throughout the room and worked individually and collectively on provided worksheets. 

“We’re here to help you envision what you want to do with the communities, with economic development, with infrastructure, with all the facilities that make up your quality of life in Kershaw County,” SLCOG’s Kyle Kelly said. “This is the kickoff meeting for something that will be a big deal for Kershaw County moving forward. It helps set the table for what this county really wants to be.”

Questions included what people see as strengths and weaknesses of the county, what can be improved and what can be eliminated. After a few minutes of consideration, SLCOG facilitator Matthew Manley went around the room with a wireless microphone and asked each group for their answers, noting similarities and differences in the responses.

Attendees also participated in a visual survey during which they were shown 54 images on a screen for only a few seconds at a time. They ranked their thoughts and feelings on what they saw on a scale of 1 to 5. Kelly also showed a series of photos and information about Carmel, Ind., a town in the Indianapolis metropolitan area named as one of the most livable cities in the United States. He then asked the groups to write down their vision for Kershaw County for the year 2030 and what, in their minds, would make our communities the best in the nation.

Kelly said he was pleased with the turnout and the responses.

“You’re passionate about the place you call home. That’s inspiring to me and inspiring to a lot of people. That energy that is in this room is what is going to drive the rest of this process and carry us forward as we seek to find ways to implement strategies and identify and prioritize the processes that will achieve those things. We thank you for sharing that vision.” 

Additional meetings are being planned throughout the county and residents may also share their thoughts and feelings online at www.VisionKershaw2030.org.

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