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Residents have the answers, so share them

Saturday, September 14, 2013 - Updated: 4:08 AM

Last month, Montgomery County residents were asked to participate in an online survey that asked them what they'd like the region to be one day.

This time, they're being asked about how they see the county as it exists today.

The county Business Development Center is in the process of "branding" Montgomery County -- helping the area find an identity.

It's a worthwhile effort because Mont-gomery County has long struggled with its identity. Is it part of the Capital District? Is it part of the Leatherstocking Region? Is it more closely related to Central New York?

So far, no one has been able to answer those questions.

Having a specific identity -- or "brand" -- will help the county set itself apart from its neighbors and define what makes it special so it can stand out in the marketplace.

The only ones who can answer that question are those who live here, or at least lived here at one point before moving away.

While the first survey asked more general questions, this one seeks specific answers. What are Montgomery County's strengths? What are its weaknesses? What opportunities exist to help the county grow, and what's out there that can threaten future development?

In this instance, honesty is key in helping the county take the next step. There are many good things about Montgomery County. There are some things that aren't so good.

The point is, officials want to know all about them. We think county residents should tell them.

We also see the importance of former Montgomery County residents taking part in this effort. Those charged with developing a so-called "brand" for the area should know what prompted people to leave town.

Granted, there are a variety of reasons why people will move away from the place of their birth, and it may not be as simple as them not wanting to live in Montgomery County any longer. Still, if it's something about the county that drove them away, local officials should know the reason why.

The county will accept surveys until Sept. 30. They're available online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/MontgomeryCommunitySurvey, or paper copies can be picked up at the business development center, at 9 Park St., Fonda.

     

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