THE ISSUE: Community members came together to create strategies in 10 important areas.

OUR OPINION: Now for the challenging part — making things happen.

Do you want to just drift along feeling powerless, or would you rather influence what your community will look like and become over the next 10 years?

Most of us prefer to have a say in our futures, and that certainly was the case for the more than 160 individuals who participated in the recent Citrus 2030 Vision Check community visioning event. This gathering, successor to those of Citrus 20/20, took place under the theme of “Destiny by Design.”

Many more were interested but couldn’t attend the full-day session, which was run by a citizen-led group and staffed by volunteer facilitators, scribes and resource members in groups surrounding 10 different areas of interest.

Those areas are: Arts and Culture; Economic Development; Education; Health and Social Services; Living in Harmony with Nature; Public Safety; Smart Growth; Tourism, Recreation and Social Venues; Trade/Career and Technical Education; and Youth Development.

By the end of the day, each group had agreed on an “aspiration statement” expressing the ideal situation in the year 2030, and had fashioned strategies for achieving it. Group members also came up with initial action steps for getting started.

Those action steps are important because the Vision Check was just the kickoff. The real work lies ahead, with the 10 working committees of people with interest in and passion for improving Citrus County.

Change doesn’t happen on its own; it will take engaged citizens working together to convert the Vision Check’s intentions into actionable items. The working committees will create blueprints for decision-makers and

policy-makers, offer thoughtful guidance, and help educate their fellow citizens on the issues, alternatives and recommendations.

This is important. If you care about your quality of life today as well as tomorrow, get involved with the group of your choice to help shape your community. The Chronicle summarized highlights of the 10 groups’ work from Vision Check on Oct. 7, page A1, and it can also be found on the website. Watch the website for more details, including a community survey on prioritizing Vision Check ideas, and how to get involved in the working committees.

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