Being a snowbird, I first have to admit that I have only been back here in Citrus County for about a month. There continues to be lack of progress on roadwork, trash collection issues and EMS program problems.
Lacking are the solutions, which are apparently truly hard to achieve. Perhaps we snowbirds tend to avoid helping with such issues or getting involved with volunteering, being transients and mostly interested in playing golf or enjoying the manatees and car shows. Nevertheless, I think Citrus County and its city governments could benefit from recognizing snowbirds as a potentially “great asset” that rotates annually in and out of Florida.
Many snowbirds have serious experience and skills, as well as time on their hands that, as a resource, could be leveraged by county leaders. For example, there are many retired professionals like teachers, nurses, doctors and business executives among the snowbirds, as well as among permanent residents.
Every county official should be collecting snowbird résumés and establishing their Snowbird Advisory Groups (SAG), meeting with them perhaps monthly and soliciting the SAG’s inputs and even labor. A SAG might consist of 100 retired teachers, another one might consist of 100 retired engineers, and perhaps similar SAGs for social workers, policemen, EMS professionals and firefighters.
Email and/or Facebook provide communication connectivity, so SAG administration by the respective county or city official can be relatively trivial, low or no cost, and easily terminated if needed. Also, every member of a SAG likely knows dozens of other residents (RAGs?) and potential voters (or at least golfers, GAGs?) in their neighborhoods.
Finally, to keep everyone on the level, every SAG member should strive to become what I call a “Technidigm Master,” and at least recognize and try to use my 12 technidigm elements of common sense. This would be a shameless plug except my book on technical common sense is a free Amazon-Kindle book (On-the-Level: Common Sense, Technically Speaking) that I wrote in the 1990s. It would even be a great accomplishment for anyone to, at least, just be able to name the 12 elements and then expect everyone in government and the media to stick to the elements in their debates of complex subjects like trash collection, road projects and EMS solutions.
Is that outside the box enough for you?
Charles R. Jones