Frequently Asked Questions
[learn_more caption=”What is the geographic reach of the project?”] The Fayette Vision Plan encompasses all residents and businesses located in Fayette County. This includes the cities of Brooks, Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone, and Woolsey, as well as unincorporated Fayette County.[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”How did the idea for a vision planning process come about?”]
February 2012 – After learning how various other communities have benefited from visiting other communities to benchmark and learn best practices from their community leadership, several business leaders met to explore, discuss, research and plan a possible leadership visit to another community. The group compared a cross section of similar communities across the southeast (within an 8 hour drive radius) which each had similar demographic and geographic features to Fayette. Ultimately, Williamson County, Tennessee was selected to visit due to its impressive economic successes and positive community initiatives over the last decade.
March-September 2012 – Group contacts Williamson leaders and plans a 2 ½ day agenda for the trip.
October 2012 – About 45 Fayette County citizens and leaders spent several days in Williamson County to learn more about best practices from this thriving community just south of Nashville. Participants on the trip included individuals from all across Fayette, including elected officials from multiple jurisdictions in the county; small and large business leaders; non-profits; and K-12 and college leaders.
December 2012 – Community wrap-up meeting held in Fayette to share insights and compare aspects of Williamson and Fayette Counties attended by trip attendees as well as additional Fayette business and community leaders who were unable to participate in the Williamson trip. It was the consensus of this larger group that our community could benefit from developing a county-wide vision and a detailed plan to achieve it, especially since the last community wide plan was a five year plan undertaken in 1988. The Fayette Chamber was asked to take the lead to formalize and organize a process to bring the vision planning together. A small planning committee of about a dozen diverse community leaders was formed.
January – February 2013 – Planning committee meets to research visioning resources, best practices and available local expertise to coordinate a formal visioning process.
September 2013 – Requests for Qualifications sent to 7 nationally respected Georgia firms/organizations; received replies from 3.
October 2013 – Requests for Proposals sent to 3 firms who submitted RFQ’s; received proposals from all 3. Invited top 2 proposals (Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute and Market Street Services) to present at a community Leadership Meeting held at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree. 150+ members of community attended to hear presentations from two consulting firms. Attendees overwhelmingly supported the decision to move forward on a formal Fayette visioning process, strongly favored using a public/private funding mix, and selected Market Street Services as best consulting partner for the community. Market Street Services was retained as Fayette Visioning Initiative consulting partner. Volunteer Steering Committee formed, including a number of leaders who attended the Williamson County trip, bringing continuity to the process.
November 2013-December 2013 – Phase One of vision plan process underway as Competitive Assessment data and input is gathered from tours of county, one on one interviews, focus groups and online community surveys.
January 2014 – Vision Plan Phase 1 completed with release of the Competitive Assessment report showing data and resident’s perspectives of where Fayette County is now. All Fayette County elected officials are invited to briefing on Competitive Assessment findings.
March 2014 – Public Meeting at Sandy Creek High School to present Competitive Assessment findings to public at large and specifically gather written public comments regarding eight story lines that have been identified as being very important to the vision plan.
April-May 2014 – Phase 2 & 3 of Vision planning undertaken as Steering Committee meets to develop a draft vision and implementation plan based on results from Phase 1.
June 2014 – Phase 2 & 3 planning completed with development of a Vision Plan and corresponding 5 year Implementation Guidelines Recommendations. Presentation made to elected officials and feedback regarding next steps discussed.
July 2014 –Presentation made to public on vision plan and recommended implementation process.
August to December 2014 – Leadership transitions to an Implementation Advisory Committee from the original Steering Committee to make the to transition from planning to implementation of the plan. Draft bylaws for a 501c3 non-profit organization are developed for future incorporation, and volunteer leaders for the Implementation Teams are identified from the community.
January-May 2015 – Implementation begins with convening of four Implementation Teams plus a Communications Committee. Community members who have indicated interest in helping to implement the plan are invited to join a committee of their choice. Based on the Vision Plan and recommendations in the Implementation Plan, the teams begin to establish priorities and a plan of work.[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”What community input has been involved?”]
The Fayette Vision planning process included extensive opportunities for the community to give input and share their thoughts and opinions. Community involvement has occurred through focus groups, one-on-one interviews, community leadership meetings, an online community survey, structured community dialogues on the MindMixer web platform, public meetings with opportunities for one-on-one input, and social media. There is also a Twitter account (@FCVisioning and #FayetteVision), and a Facebook page (facebook.com/fcvision). Many residents have also connected via e-mail at info@FayetteVision.org. Committee members make every effort to answer all questions and consider all input throughout the process.
In addition to the above avenues for public engagement, visioning speakers are available to speak to any business, group or organization to keep citizens updated on the visioning process and continue to gather feedback and input. To request a visioning speaker to present to a group, email the request to info@FayetteVision.org to schedule a date and time.[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”Are there local elected officials from the municipalities or the county commission on the steering committee or implementation advisory committee?”] From the outset, it has been important for the process to have representatives from all local governments on the steering committee but also to keep the process as apolitical as possible. For that reason, visioning leaders asked the city, town and county managers and the school superintendent to serve on the steering committee and tasked those members to keep their respective governing bodies apprised and updated on the process. In the towns of Brooks and Woolsey, which have no paid town managers, visioning leaders asked those town councils to select a government representative to serve on the steering committee. In addition, there have been meetings hosted throughout the process where elected officials were invited to engage with the consultants, be updated about the process and the progress to date, and to ask questions or provide feedback. A similar philosophy has followed into the Implementation Advisory Committee.[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”Please give an overview of current and future funding; and address how funding decisions are being made.”]
Fayette Visioning is managed by a Board of Directors. They vote on an annual budget and approve bi-monthly financial reports. Expenditures are made within the parameters laid out in the budget. In 2017, Board meetings have been moved to a quarterly basis. Previous quarter financials will be reported following those meetings (January, May, August, November).
2014 Visioning Receipts and Expenses [/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”How will the Fayette vision plan differ from existing local government plans described in the Georgia Planning Act of 1989?”]The Georgia Planning Act of 1989 is the foundation for government prepared community and regional planning in the state (1). It, and subsequent legislation, recognizes that “coordinated and comprehensive planning by all levels of government within the State of Georgia is of vital importance to the state and its citizens. (2) The Act encourages such efforts through incentives. Conforming county and city plans are individual efforts addressing a more limited number of issues than a comprehensive vision plan, and often focus on their respective jurisdictions. For example, “Fayette Forward” is primarily a plan for transportation infrastructure.(3) While such existing plans address topics like transportation in considerable detail, they provide less insight into the broader picture of where we, as a county, would like to go. The Steering Committee believes the Fayette County visioning plan exceeds the minimum standards addressed in the GA Planning Act; to address the direction of the county/cities/towns as a whole; and to be used as a common resource for county and municipal government planners when updating their individual comprehensive plans.
(1) See O.C.G.A.§45-12-6 (Public Officers and Employees-Governor Planning and Development) and §50- 8-1 (State Government-Dept. of Community Affairs-General Provisions)[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”Who is leading the process?”]
The visioning implementation process is currently led by an Implementation Advisory Committee comprised of a diverse group of local community members from across Fayette County, and is co-chaired by Larris Marks and Randy Weaver. Many of these leaders also served on the visioning Steering Committee, which provided leadership during the development of the Vision Plan. This overlap gives continuity from planning to implementation.
The co-chairs, Larris Marks and Randy Weaver, have both been involved throughout the vision planning process. Larris is retired from the US Army Forces Command and lives in Fayetteville, and Randy owns a small business, an insurance agency in Peachtree City and is also a Fayette resident.
The Implementation Advisory Committee is responsible for making strategic decisions throughout the process and championing the Vision Plan throughout the community. In the near future, a non-profit public organization will be incorporated as a 501(c)3 to provide a sustainable leadership and governance structure for the implementation of the plan. At that point, leadership will transfer from the Implementation Advisory Committee to a non-profit board.
[learn_more caption=”Who is Market Street Services?”] Market Street Services, Inc. is the consulting firm retained to facilitate the vision planning process. Market Street was founded in 1997 and has brought original insights and clarity in economic, community, and workforce development strategies for more than 150 communities in 33 states.[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”What is the Vision Planning process? How long did it take? How will it be implemented?”]
The Vision Planning process occurred over seven months from December 2013 to June 2014. The process occurred in three phases:
Phase 1: The first phase of this process compared Fayette County’s social, demographic, economic, and physical characteristics to Hanover County, Virginia; Forsyth County, Georgia; Williamson County, Tennessee; the metro Atlanta region; and the nation. Rather than creating charts for dozens of data points, the Competitive Assessment synthesized the quantitative data with public input to frame the discussion around the key “storylines” and competitive issues facing Fayette County.
Phase 2: The second phase was the creation of the Fayette Vision Plan. The Vision Plan reflects the research and input gathered in the Competitive Assessment, and answers the fundamental questions of “where do we want to be?” and “how do we get there?” The Vision Plan is intended to serve as a unifying “playbook” for all community and economic development partners as it includes specific goals, objectives, and tactics for creating the future that Fayette County desires.
Phase 3: Timely and effective implementation is critical to the ultimate success of the Vision Plan. If the Vision Plan represents the “what,” the Implementation Guidelines represent recommendations for “how” the Vision Plan will be operationalized and implemented. Budgets, staffing capacity, detailed timelines, cost estimates, and measurement tools have been included.
The planning was completed in 2014. In January 2015, implementation began with the convening of four Implementation Teams to begin the work of making the plan a reality.[/learn_more]