The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 6, 2013

Moving forward

— We have all been guilty of it at one time or another in our lives.

We are resistant to change.

We are comfortable right where we are, thank you.

But sometimes the proverbial writing is on the wall.

Change is imminent; resistance is futile.

Hanging on to our comfortable ways would cause more hardship than going ahead and accepting the inevitable. And the best scenario for everyone involved.

And so it is in Fayette County.

By a vote of 40 to 7 Tuesday, a citizens’ committee recommended that the county not move forward with a bond proposal for repairing and maintaining all existing schools in the county. The committee was comprised of three representatives from every school; they burst into applause when the vote was announced.

That’s a much different reaction than in years past.

Folks in Fayette have fought to maintain their current schools — and against consolidation — perhaps, at least in theory, to maintain their community identity.

But the quality of education for their children is at stake, and they now realize that.

Patching up severely worn and under-equipped buildings is far too expensive and not the best way to allocate funds.

So Fayette County is moving on. Moving forward.

The passion that was displayed in years past by Fayette countians was not and should not be in vain. It was, and still is very admirable.

The opponents of consolidation were not “defeated” in this turn of events. The time simply came to re-think their position.

Instead of slinking back in defeat, they should still serve as inspirational leaders of their respective communities.

Just because a building has aged and must be replaced — that should not threaten the very identity of a community.

The people make up the community, not a pile of bricks and mortar.

So may the people of Fayette County rally together in this very important time in their history — in our history — to reshape what their towns represent.

May there not be “sides” to choose. We’re all in this together, for the benefit of southern West Virginia even — because Fayette has the potential to play a major role in our development going forward.

And may the children, and the state, prosper for decades to come because of the willingness of the citizens of Fayette County to lay down their personal feelings for the best common goal and our greatest needs.