Caldwell: Unity, uniqueness can live in same space

Almost every community in Central Kentucky stands strong on its own, but it is exciting to think about what could be accomplished by locking arms and becoming united as one region.

City and county borders can bring us together rather than separate us.

As a native of the Bluegrass but an outsider to this part of the state, one of the things that has been striking to me while in the communities I work in each week — Nicholasville, Wilmore, Danville, Winchester, Stanford, Lexington and several others — is each community is unique, all with strengths and weaknesses.

Since they span several counties, each operates independently of one another.

Most have chambers of commerce, schools, government agencies, economic development entities, historical groups and so on.

This fierce independence is tremendous and a testament to the hard work by all the men and women involved.

Each community is unique and should operate as such, but the old saying that “there is strength in numbers” holds here as well.

What could we accomplish if more groups began working more closely together, refusing to allow lines on a map or political subdivisions to divide us?

Partnerships and cooperation by various entities within a community are important and is already underway in many cases.

There is also progress with collaboration between some regional organizations to promote tourism and economic development, but these efforts are the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we could accomplish.

What if law enforcement from all the Central Kentucky communities and their neighbors got together a few times year to talk about challenges and ways to collaborate?

What if every Chamber of Commerce spent some time together focusing on hosting programs and initiatives that would help virtually any business regardless of whether it is in Nicholasville, Danville, Winchester or somewhere else?

What if government entities looked at pooling their buying power or other resources?

Would it be possible for public school districts from multiple counties to collaborate on creating more positive initiatives to engage youth and help them get involved in their respective communities?

Could the various colleges and educational institutions look for more ways to partner with one another?

They are all working to achieve the same overall goal: To provide the education needed for individuals to succeed in life.

Some of these types of initiatives are already occurring in varying degrees, but the idea is that we can always do more cooperatively than we can by standing as individuals.

Author and statesman Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Although that may be hyperbole when it comes to the challenges we face here in Central Kentucky, the founding father’s underlying message still holds hundreds of years later.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 759-0095 or by email at