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As editor for The McCreary County Voice, I attend meetings. Fiscal court meetings, school board meetings, park board meetings, tourism commission meetings, Chamber meetings, IDA meetings…the list goes on and on.
Yes, I attend and report on lots of meetings.
Sadly, I’m often the only individual who is in attendance.
Perhaps it is apathy or perhaps it is because, as a county, we’ve given up hope. Or maybe, it is simply because we all stay so busy “living life” that we put community and civic concerns on the back burner. We tell ourselves that our “showing up and speaking up” won’t make any difference. It just won’t matter.
As a child growing up in McCreary County, I don’t remember it being that way. Back then, folks “showed up, stood up, and spoke up” about issues in the community that were important to them. They banded together, and they rallied for the good of McCreary County and their individual communities. They did it respectfully, and they agreed to disagree when opinions clashed. They considered it their civic duty. They considered it their responsibility to take care of McCreary County-this little piece of paradise we call home.
That’s why I was so proud when I attended The Jellico Vegetation Management Project meeting in Whitley County last week. When I discovered more than a dozen McCreary Countians took the time to “show up, stand up, and speak up” about their concerns with the project, I caught a glimpse of the McCreary County spirit from years gone by- a spirit that seems to have been lacking in recent years.
Regardless of how one feels about the Jellico Project, I think everyone will agree the folks of McCreary County and our Osborne Creek community who joined forces and “showed up, stood up, and spoke up” on behalf of McCreary County, their community, and their National Forest deserve a great big pat on the back.
They showed us McCreary County spirit is alive and well, especially in the valleys and mountains surrounding Osborne Creek.