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Voters must ensure responsible growth
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In today’s Coastal Courier, readers will find our annual Pride and Progress edition. Within its pages are the views of our state legislators, county commissioners and Hinesville city councilmen. In other words, the people who representative us and make decisions — long-term and short — that affect our lives.
According to our legislators, Liberty County is now viewed as an up-and-coming “power player” in the state because of its “economic influence” and potential for growth.
Locally, our elected leaders are struggling to ensure their districts meet the demands of a growing population. They are faced with providing a long list of services on a relatively tight budget. After all, there’s never enough money to go around and the public — in general — detests paying taxes.
But growth is inevitable. More and more people are relocating to coastal Georgia, attracted by its warm climate, natural beauty and other attributes.
For many people, our “neck of the woods” is full of promise — the promise of living in an area that’s beautiful, historic and conveniently located. It’s also an area that’s ripe for making sizeable returns on investments.
More and more of Georgia’s coastal properties are being sold to developers. In turn, each developer molds that newly purchased property into an image that best suits their needs or personal tastes. In some instances, there are developers who want their developments to stay as true as possible to local history and the natural beauty of the area while still being able to lure potential buyers.
There are other developers who simply seem to want to make a buck and will cram as many homes or businesses into a given location as the law allows — without and with variances. They don’t seem to care about the appearance of the community, local heritage or our natural resources.
Growth is under way in Liberty County and the stream of people moving into our area is not likely to end anytime soon.
Within the next decade, Coastal Georgia will continue evolving. Whether it changes for the good — or bad — is up to our legislators and our local governmental leaders.
Ultimately, we have given them the responsibility of deciding for us what’s best for Liberty County. Of course, it is up to us to let them know what we want for our community, and to hold them accountable for their votes on important issues.
Yes, the public wants a healthy economy, more job opportunities and better services — but not at ALL costs. While growth may be inevitable at this point, we can be “smart” about it, and plan and vote responsibly for a brighter future.
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