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Phillips: Can you see the future?

Posted: August 4, 2015 1:47 p.m.
Updated: August 5, 2015 1:00 a.m.

There are so many aspects of our lives we have practically no control over. It makes us feel better to think we’re in control, but the truth is we very seldom are. Even when we do have some measure of control over our fate, there are other factors and forces which can have just as great, or even more, influence on us.

With so much uncertainty, when we have the opportunity to affect our own lives, we had best take full advantage of it and not let a good chance pass us by. That applies to anything and everything -- work, love, family -- if and when you can choose or even slightly affect your own destiny, do it.

In Kershaw County, we find ourselves with a great opportunity to let our local government leaders know what we think the county should look and be like in the future. The Kershaw County Planning and Zoning Department, along with the Santee-Lynches Council of Governments, is holding a series of public meetings seeking input on what we -- you and me -- want for the county over the next 15 years or so.

The population of Kershaw County has been steadily increasing and there’s every reason to think the trend will continue and most likely even pick up the pace over the next several years. With this growth will come a real need for more of everything the government provides us. But what are the priorities? Roads, schools, law enforcement, fire and ambulance service, solid waste management and so many other services we often take for granted will have to be increased just to maintain the level of service we’ve become accustomed to.

There was an impressive turnout for the first meeting held last week in Camden. Further meetings will be held all through the county and will be announced here in the Chronicle-Independent. The organizers are also accepting input online at www.VisionKershaw2030.org. They truly want to know what we all think and they want to make it as easy and convenient as possible.

I look at this process much the same as voting for our elected officials. Participation in this project, just like voting, is completely voluntary. Do it only if you want to. But, if you don’t, you’ll have no right to squawk about it 10 years from now if the county hasn’t developed the way you thought it should have -- the way you secretly and silently thought it should have.

Even though our system of government was set up to be “by the people,” we often feel like we’re being left out of the process. That’s probably because we often are left out. So when we do have the chance to really participate, I say we should do all we can to let our voices be heard. Our leaders really want to know about this. So do them, and yourself, a favor and attend one or more of the public meetings. Go on the website and answer the questions posed there.

Not every wish or desire is going to come true. We all need to be realistic about that. But, when our government asks out loud what we, the citizenry, would like to happen, we should at the very least answer that request and make our thoughts and feelings heard.

Can you see the future? You bet you can -- if you step up and help shape it.  


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