By: Steve Trubilla
This is the second column of a planned series on bringing broadband to Franklin County.
Hindsight and foresight will always inform those with vision.
A student of leadership and management in the military, corporate America, and the political arena, I have found many similarities. A common quality among the most successful is the ability to plan rather than to react; vision.
Money without vision will not bring the desired result, unless that result is to simply spend money.
This would be a great segue into the simply outrageous budget submissions by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the funding request for schools, and other county departments -- a budget plus up of $2.7 million and fee increases.
Someone obviously thinks the Franklin County taxpayer not only lacks vision but that they are blind.
Stay tuned to Paper Bullets, I will be writing much more on this.
Franklin County North Carolina is well behind many other places of similar size and demographics in some ways. Broadband innovation is among them.
On January 1, 1983, and from there, researchers began to assemble the "network of networks" that became the modern Internet. The online world then took on a more recognizable form in 1990.
We live in a fast-paced world and who knew what the Internet was going to become back in 1983?
In the late 1990s, believe it or not, there were people right here in Franklin County with the foresight to see the potential. There was an initiative called the ENC addressing this.
The first official broadband meeting I know of since the late 1990's in Franklin County was held in January 2018. I will characterize that meeting as a new local broadband initiative.
In the majority, this initiative has been brought on by a grassroots effort, not by elected officials or county management.
I do not know who the person was that took the first step on this and will look further to find and credit them. Truly he or she is deserving of special recognition.
From that effort, many are now involved. A Franklin County Broadband Action Committee has been formed. I am researching the composition of that board, related costs and if it has been task organized.
On April 24, 2018, Franklin County hosted a Broadband Survey Meet and Greet to give citizens an opportunity to complete the recently available Franklin County Broadband Surveys. The meeting was held at the Louisburg Library. The following Franklin County elected officials and county management personnel attended the meeting: County Manager Angela Harris, Assistant County Manager Kim Denton, School Board Member Rosemary Champion, County Commissioners James Mark Speed and Sidney E. Dunston.
It was good to see so many of these people showing interest by attending the meeting.
I was however very disappointed with the public turnout. Only two or three people showed up. Really?!? People that is pathetic!
The meeting was not advertised as well as it could have been. It was also held on a Tuesday night at 5 p.m. -- not the best time. People are getting home from work, and there is homework to be done.
This all said, still only two or three people showing up; sad, very sad.
At that meeting, I learned from County Commissioner Speed, that State Rep. Bobbie Richardson arranged for a meeting with Gov. Roy Cooper and his staff on April 5 to meet and discuss the broadband needs of Franklin County. I called Commissioner Speed for further comment on this, he did not return my calls. I guess he is too busy. Maybe he will have more time in November.
In a word, Rep. Richardson, "Outstanding." This is what leadership from the front looks like.
There are many voices now in common cause.
This can and is becoming a movement. Now is the time for you to get on board.
Carey Johnson, staff writer for The Franklin Times, was all over this with his high impact reporting, "Carrots AND sticks? Broadband fix needs both, contend officials"
This paper is your force multiplier.
It is time to lean in and support it. Your voice is needed, pick up your phone or get in your vehicle and go see the folks at the paper. Do not be shy, tell them how you feel. Better yet, write a letter to the editor and let thousands know how you feel!
American poet, essayist, and educator Robert Hayden penned, "I truly believe one person can make a difference, but how much more difference 100, or rather 99."
We have something here we can "all" work on; something local. You can do this, we can do this,
"Together we are many."