BY GENA HUFF, Editor
In an interview with the director of Aliceville’s Chamber of Commerce, Edgar Pruitt, our mutual love of our county and how we can improve it, how we can promote it, how we can change the downward spiral we seem to be on, is the number one concern. The closure and reconfigurations of our county schools and the issues that seem to face the community in the face of new social concepts and the occurrence of new business but no economic boost, is troubling.
After months of trying to digest the problems and possible solutions, it is best to put this in a three-part series. But, in a conundrum, there are no absolute solutions. It is going to take a village to make a change. And when one village is benefitting, the surrounding villages will benefit too. Commonly called a “ripple effect,” like the ripples of a stone thrown into still waters, the benefits of one town will radiate to its neighbors. What benefits one will benefit all.
It is my job to translate issues that are going on in our county with as much transparency as possible. We, as residents of this county, know the problems. We all know the problems our rural communities face. And that is part of the problem. Our tendency to focus on the negative and not initiate the positive. But the question, as always, is where to begin. The answer to that is still not clear but there are options and steps, that if taken, will produce results.
But what can one person, or two people accomplish? They can accomplish anything. That is the key. It doesn’t take a village in the beginning, it takes a voice. Or two. Which becomes three. And then thirty. And then three hundred. Then three thousand. Because if the voice is sane, if the voice speaks reason, you can’t help but listen. And you want to participate in the solution.
According to Pruitt, his part of the solution for the betterment of our community is two-part. Part one is the education system and creating a work force within our community ready to handle the available jobs that are out there.
With school enrollment on a steady decline, the tendency to look backward is palpable and trying to see the future is frustrating. But what if the script was flipped? What if an influx of business, in turn influxes the housing market, which in turn influxes the school system, which in turn influxes the local economy. It is a group effort, so to speak. The combination of the different pockets, of the different aspects of the community, create a “soup,” a “stew.”
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.