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Survey says ... quality counts
Group quizzes community for answers
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Forsyth County News

What does quality of life mean to people who live and work in Forsyth County?

The Quality of Life Council wants to know and plans on asking as many people as possible over the next few months through a 10-question survey.

"It will help us better understand what people in Cumming and Forsyth County value in terms of their quality of life," said James McCoy, a member of the council. "What are priorities for them? Is it safety, education, the economy or jobs?"

McCoy, who is president and chief executive officer of the local chamber of commerce, said the survey also will ask participants what is "most valuable to them about why they live here and why they choose to be here."

The council, which began meeting earlier this year, formed as a result of the Envision 2030 program that began in 2005.

Its mission is to research what defines quality of life and to study annual progress toward that goal.

Envision 2030 was a communitywide planning process where residents and employees were asked to share their goals, projects and desires for the county. The process was initiated by the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.

After receiving input from more than 1,200 members of the community, the common theme was working toward improving the quality of life.

Because there are so many statistics to gather, McCoy said the council is seeking the most commonly reported concerns within the community and focusing on tracking those aspects.

"The data out there is floating around, but it's not being compiled in a comprehensive way," he said.

"We need one comprehensive report so we can look at everything together and determine where it is we're weak, where it is we're strong and, hopefully, help all of us spend our resources more thoroughly."

With the information, the council will create benchmarks against which they will measure progress toward enhancing quality of life.

McCoy said the surveys will be given to local civic groups, businesses and schools. They're also available online, where anyone can fill one out.

"Hopefully, we can find an early warning sign if we're heading in a bad direction in one area so the community can put resources there to pull it back," he said. "But what we must first do is truly determine what the community values in terms of quality of life."