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Issues in focus - Growth - We need a game plan!

I had the pleasure of working on the 2020 Census, a long interesting process that is important for funding and supporting our rapid growth.

Since 2010, Valley County has seen a growth rate of almost 20% when compared to 2020. We have welcomed thousands of new neighbors to our beautiful area. What else has happened since 2010? Well, we are on the map for visitors wanting the perfect getaway, the most beautiful wedding and the best in year-round recreation. We've been discovered and we need a game plan.

There was a time when planning could be loose and we could rely on the guts of our leaders, but we are no longer in that time. Valley County, it's time to be proactive. Let's set some goals so that we don't lose our character or what's important!

Good plans not only rely on experts, best practices and industry tools, but use feedback from residents to set priorities and outline goals. What do you want for Valley County? Thinking ahead will make sure we keep our treasured history, save our pure drinking water while at the same time, outline what work needs to be done. This will give citizens a list of things to hold your commissioners and leaders accountable to.

What happens when you don't make a plan in a growing community? Cities become unattractive, inefficient and difficult to turn back around. They lose their character and put strain on the environment. Let's use smart growth tools to plan where to develop housing, where to encourage growth, and where businesses will thrive. If we put policies in place, we can actually stimulate our economy while preserving our environment. I've spoken to many people about our growth. Some just don't want to see change happen at all. I understand that, I wish my kids would stop growing and my wrinkles would stop appearing, but deep down, we all know we can't stop time. It's time for acceptance.

Every game is won with a good strategy. Policy doesn't mean change, in fact, setting priorities might be the only way to make sure we get to choose what is precious. A good strategic plan puts the control back in our hands.

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