All share responsibility for building community
There's been a lot of talk in our community recently about community building.
The City of Brewton is immersed in the Alabama Communities of Excellence program, a comprehensive approach to economic and community development for cities with populations between 2,000 and 12,000.
In 2003, Brewton was selected as one of eight initial Alabama Communities of Excellence participants, along with Demopolis, Guin, Guntersville, Haleyville, Monroeville, Wetumpka and Valley.
The program has four phases - an assessment period, a period of leadership development and strategic planning; implementation and certification. By all accounts, Brewton should have received its certification last year, but the distraction of a major hurricane coupled with miscommunication, delayed the certification until later this spring.
Meanwhile, Brewton's ACE committees are tackling some tough issues. As Mayor Ted Jennings said, “This program will be good for Brewton, whether we ever get the certification or not.”
The committees are focused on our infrastructure, quality of life, leadership and economic development.
At First United Methodist Church, a long-range planning committee is going through a similar process, exploring how they and their congregation can best serve God and help the community. There is a sense of excitement among those participating in the process, and good things already are coming out of their work.
Habitat for Humanity seeks to build our community in a different way - one household at a time. The organization plans to put up two houses in one week this May.
While their “community building” might not have as large an impact, it is no less important, for it empowers families to have a personal stake in their home, neighborhood, and community as a whole.
There's much more to read about our community in today's special edition, Progress, our annual in-depth look at the community. We hope you'll share our sense of community pride when you read it, and that it will help each of us think about our responsibilities to make it a better place.
Michele Gerlach is publisherof The Standard. She can be reached at michele.gerlach@brewtonstandard. com or 251.867.4876.