Have a vision for what you want Carroll County to look like five, 10, 20, even 50 years from now? The Carroll County Board of Commissioners has a job for you.
On Tuesday, the commissioners agreed to form an advisory group that will make regular recommendations to the board on long-term planning for the county's future.
The old saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail," comes to mind here, so we are glad to see the commissioners moving forward with a long-term planning group.
We've seen with recent battles over school funding how a lack of an agreed-upon goal and vision to achieve it has stifled progress on that front.
However, as the commissioners noted in making their decision Tuesday, a good example of how this has benefited Carroll is when the decision was made years ago to preserve 100,000 acres of county farmland. County government has continued to work toward that goal through its agricultural preservation program even with the myriad personalities and priorities of multiple boards of commissioners.
An assortment of county officials and community organization representatives, as well as members of the public, will comprise the Long Term Advisory Council. While the group will have 15 voting members — including eight citizens or representatives from citizen groups — more people could participate without voting status. It will meet and regularly report its ideas to the commissioners.
During his previous term, Commissioner Doug Howard began a similar group called Carroll 2030, but it was subject to some deserved criticism about being made up almost exclusively of people collecting a government paycheck and not opening some meetings to the public (albeit legally, because it wasn't technically a government entity). The new group seems to correct those shortcomings.
Most importantly, the Long Term Advisory Council is designed to get feedback from the public by having residents make up a majority of the group.
Application information should appear on the county's website, www.carr.org, within the next few weeks, and the group is likely to begin meeting in August.
This group has the potential to be very influential in the direction of Carroll's future. But it needs committed members of our community with great ideas.
So, if you've ever thought, "Why doesn't Carroll County have this?" or "What if we did things this way?" or "How come no one ever brings this up?" but didn't know how to make your voice heard, here is your opportunity. Don't pass it up.