Our View: Be a part of the plan

Later this month, leaders will host two meetings to seek public input about the community’s vision of Winchester and Clark County’s future.

The updated Winchester-Clark County Comprehensive Plan will be driven by public input and these forums seek the community’s ideas, comments and feedback about topics like infrastructure, development, emergency and medical services, recreation and educational needs.

Meetings will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Clark County Public Library and from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at Hall’s on the River.

The city and county work together to develop the comprehensive plan, which essentially maps out what the community’s goals for the future.

The plan identifies goals, policies and steps to guide development for the next 20 years and will ask the community to answer questions about their desires and goals for Winchester and Clark County.

The most recent plan was adopted in January 2012, and the plan is required to be reviewed by the Planning Commission at least once every five years and amended if necessary. The plan focuses on 11 concentration areas: community services, infrastructure (sewer and water), transportation, local government, land use, tourism, natural resources, parks and recreation, historic preservation, housing and crossroads communities.

Although Kentucky law mandates public participation and community involvement when developing the plan, it is really about the critical need for the public to have a voice.

It’s time for the residents of Winchester and Clark County to take ownership of the future. We urge everyone to attend one of these meetings and make known what you hope for the future of our community.

What kind of businesses should we work to attract? When new businesses join our community, what areas of the county would you like to see developed? Where do you see a need for improvement in our infrastructure? Are there issues with land use, housing or transportation?

Engaged residents, business owners, people with children and anyone who pays taxes should make it a point to attend. People are often quick to complain about the condition of the community, but are slower to become involved or offer solutions to the problems.

We can no longer sit idly by and expect our leaders to make decisions for us without our valuable input.

Now is your chance to let your voice be heard. Don’t waste it.