This year’s “State of the Oconee” once again succeeded in what it always sets out to do. The speeches that ring out from the dais accomplish the intended. They make us feel good about the county in which we work and live and give us, in spite of unsettling times, hope for the future. The messages during a 90-minute time frame by as many as five speakers are probably too much to keep straight. But there is much to savor.
Including what contractor Neil Workman said about a variety of subjects that simply are not at the head of the every day Oconee County agenda, but they may be slowly moving that way. Workman is a contractor who founded the Oconee Alliance, a public-private partnership that works to enhance quality of life issues. One of Workman’s thought-provoking comments was raised in the form of a question, “Do we have the political will to want to make a difference in what our community looks like?” Here Workman makes reference to sign blight and how Oconee can transform itself into a vibrant business community.
If Workman’s ideas are too much of an abstraction, there were plenty of meat and potato issues to digest from the dais of “The State of Oconee 2013.” Richard Blackwell, the county economic development director, believes that with the development of new industrial parks, Oconee is on the verge of taking off. Others are pleased with the current landscape and would like to see the county continue to pursue a strong economic base to benefit everyone. Larry Smith, plant manager for Schneider Electric, paid compliments to the Oconee County workers and Stan Griffis told why Oconee became a desired destination for his A-I-D aerospace operation from Rabun County, Georgia.
That’s our view. What’s yours?