Hello Vista Grove Friends! We hope your holiday season has been a joyous and meaningful one. At our December 21 town hall meeting in Embry Hills, we had a terrific group of friends and community members come together, sharing their ideas, hopes, and vision for the future. And as a means of furthering this vision — of connecting our community and energizing citizen participation — we’ve continued to receive very positive support for a potential City of Vista Grove. Here is a short distillation of thoughts on the topic, based on feedback we’ve received to date.
How will a City of Vista Grove benefit us?
First, a city can help connect and transform Vista Grove’s physical infrastructure, bringing much needed improvements in areas from parks and recreation, roads and sidewalks, safety and security, stormwater maintenance, and community development, including zoning and planning. We need a progressive and long-term plan for the future of our community--and the civic platform to help us achieve it.
Second, a city can focus on strengthening our community and civic identity. As strengthen our collective sense of place and belonging, we enhance our ability to communicate and work together more efficiently to maintain and enhance quality of life in Vista Grove. This civic identity can manifest itself in, and be reinforced by, physical public space as well as by community events, including performing arts, local craft fairs, and seasonal festivals.
Third, as a city, Vista Grove can communicate forcefully, and with a single representative voice, on issues of local importance -- among them, enhancing safety, promoting positive economic development, reducing traffic congestion and sprawl, fostering walkable and bikeable connections, and improving our physical infrastructure.
What services would the City of Vista Grove offer?
The City should focus on areas where Vista Grove citizens most want immediate change: on parks and greenspace, roads, stormwater maintenance, and community development and zoning. The economic study we have commissioned will consider each of these areas as well as public safety, and the particulars of services to be offered will necessarily depend on the study’s results as well as continued input from the Vista Grove community.
What is the timeline for city creation?
Legislation to authorize the new city must be introduced in and pass the Georgia General Assembly, after which residents of the proposed city can vote. For Vista Grove, the timetable will begin with a request to introduce a bill in the January 2018 session. The default timetable for this process, unless the legislative rules are waived to shorten it, is two years, meaning any vote by residents of a new City of Vista Grove would occur in 2019. It is thus quite important, in order to begin this timetable, that a bill be introduced this year.
How can each of us help? Vista Grove is a citizen-led movement, and if you believe in our shared mission of community improvement, we need you to take action!
Call or send an e-mail to your local legislator to let him or her know you support the work of Vista Grove. Here is their contact information. http://www.vistagrove.org/write
Talk about the Vista Grove movement with your friends and neighbors in our area, and ask them to sign our petition. Here is the petition link: www.vistagrove.org/petition.
Critically, please contribute. Vista Grove is a non-profit and depends on your generous support to move forward with our shared work. Your donation will help pay for the feasibility study that is a necessary requirement to being a city. Here is the link to donate: www.vistagrove.org/donate Please know that every dollar you can contribute counts, is appreciated, and helps to support getting out the word about Vista Grove, whether through the website, updates and community meetings, or most of all, funding the feasibility study.
Thank you all on behalf of our Vista Grove leadership team, volunteers, and community for all you do! Your optimism and energetic spirit of accomplishment are inspiring, and as the New Year begins, we look forward to our continued work together.
All the best,
Andrew, Lara, Megan, Meg, and Peter
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead