INDIAN LAND -- The Indian Land Action Council is returning to its roots, with Bryan Vaughn, Indian Land's representative on the Lancaster County Council, taking the lead.
Vaughn was elected president of the Action Council last month and has begun meeting with executive committee members about changing the group's format to a more formal meeting using Robert's Rules of Order. He hopes the group will become more civic-minded.
Vaughn had resisted being part of the group's leadership while he still held a seat on the county council. But with the end of his term just six months away, Vaughn felt that the time was right to step up and take the Action Council's reigns.
Vaughn did not seek a second term on the county council.
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"I think it's important that we get some direction for that group," Vaughn said. "It's been a good group, able to get a lot of public information out there, sponsoring political forums and safety fairs, but we're trying to get more of a civic focus for that group. I thought it was important to get focused and get some stability."
The Indian Land Action Council was formed by Vaughn in April 2006, to encourage Panhandle residents to be active in local government and to help them lobby the county council on issues. Membership has declined since the early meetings, but "town hall meetings" and political forums have been well attended.
Recruiting new members will be one of the group's priorities, Vaughn added.
Vaughn hopes the Action Council can help unite the people of Indian Land. Working with the individual crime-watch groups around Indian Land, and including local business owners, to create a Panhandle-wide crime watch group is one idea the Action Council is considering.
"We feel like one thing missing in the Panhandle is that we are a community of neighborhoods," Vaughn said. "We want one community here. You'll always have individual needs but we want people to see the Panhandle as a unified area."
Action Council meetings traditionally began with comments by Vaughn, school board representative Don McCorkle and House District 45 Representative Mick Mulvaney, keeping members up-to-date on the happenings in local government and the school district.
That will continue, Vaughn said, but a monthly speaker will also be scheduled.
"We've got a lot of ideas, and I think we're reenergized somewhat," Vaughn said. "We have a good basis to build from; we just want to expand things."