Special to the Chronicle - Editorial Section
THE ISSUE: Citrus 20/30 community visioning group forming.
OUR OPINION: Building on the foundation from Citrus 20/20, it can help steer Citrus County to greater success.
You may have heard of Citrus 20/20, but you probably haven’t heard much about it lately. This community visioning group formally dissolved in 2018, though it had been nearly dormant for a couple of years. It was difficult seeing Citrus 20/20 close up shop, because it has been so important in helping shape the county as we know it today.
The lives of community-based, volunteer-run organizations are cyclical; after more than two decades of really intense work, Citrus 20/20 just ran out of fuel. But the need for community-based visioning still exists and, although the county has seen many achievements arising from Citrus 20/20 activities, there’s still a lot to do. Now, nearly 25 years after the original group’s founding, a new group is forming to update priorities and continue the work, with gratitude to the original group that achieved so much.
The Citrus 20/30 vision title says it all: Destiny by choice, not by chance.
The new steering committee is being led by experienced members of the original group and includes newer community members from a variety of fields. It’s a good combination, according to committee chair Janice Warren and vice chair David Reed, when experience from the original group is harnessed together with the enthusiasm of “those with a longer timeline.”
The original Citrus 20/20 concept grew from a chamber-sponsored Leadership Citrus project, and the chamber of commerce is still a major player today. It will provide administrative and some financial support to Citrus 20/30.
The last public-gathering VisionFest and progress audit was in 2010. Currently a team is conducting an updated assessment on the nearly 50 pages of goals, objectives and action plans in 10 priority categories from the original vision. Each will be identified as to status toward completion or “warrants reevaluation.”
The new Citrus 20/30 steering committee updated priority categories for the county’s changing needs. But real progress can only be achieved when well-meaning community members understand and buy into these priorities, and there is consensus on goals, objectives and action plans. The next step is to get the word out and encourage people to apply to work on the various focus group committees. Before the end of 2019, all groups should have proposals ready to share.
No one disputes that the county needs a vision, and who better to help craft it than those who live, work and play here? We support the Citrus 20/30 community visioning process, and you should, too.