Opt-In workshop set in Haywood Feb. 27

Feb 19, 2014

The Opt-In’s community workshops being held in Western North Carolina turned out to be the ideal way to reignite conversation about many of Opt-In’s hot topics.

Eighty-plus participants turned out in Robbinsville earlier this month to talk about a vision for the future for both Graham County and the seven-county region.

With experts from a variety of fields on hand, discussions could explore, among other topics: a broad range of transportation policy options; the relationships between economic development and tourism; the connections between land use and public health; and the opportunities to leverage the region’s access to the outdoor recreational playground of the Southeastern United States.

This is only the beginning of the round 2 workshops. The regional visioning discussion on Feb. 3, offered a taste of what’s to come in each of the five counties where the vision is the sole focus.

The initial round of Workshops back in the fall of 2013 confirmed broad regional goals. This time around, we’re exploring tradeoffs that might be necessary to achieve those goals, starting with an exercise to identify priorities among the goals.

This collaborative exploration is by way of “what if” scenarios.

What if getting to those goals required changes in the ways the region and county and town governments approached management, policy-making, investments and regulations? What changes seem desirable? What changes don’t? Where does a consensus lie?

The results of these discussions will be reported as soon as responses are tabulated.

The Opt-In workshop for Haywood will be held at at Tuscola High School on Feb. 27.

The meeting will start with a half-hour open house beginning at 5:30 p.m. Then, there will be a presentation and discussion from 6 to 8 p.m.