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Friday, July 29, 2016

Ignore it and it will go away

Posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008, at 8:58 PM

Every once in a while, the editor of the newspaper is called to task. Why must you keep focusing on what's wrong, the problem with this or that. Can't you just forget about this stuff and focus on the positive things?

Why must you write about crimes? About questions about the way our government's run? About diversity or the lack thereof?

In other words, if we, the people, or we, the newspaper, ignore our challenges they will go away. I think everyone knows that's simply not true.

But there are some things that will go away if we ignore them. Growth. Economic Development. Community Enrichment.

It's true that some people feel passionately about these concepts and efforts to make growth happen. They work tirelessly behind the scenes to do what they can to help their communities. And together groups and individuals are doing great things. The YMCA broke ground on a new pool. The Vernon County Youth Task Force is finding all sorts of little ways to enrich the quality of life for young people in the area.Groups and individuals perform many, many humanitarian efforts all year 'round, every year. People help one another. But we could do so much more.

Growing a county's economy is kind of like growing a garden. Just as it's important to have knowledge of the ages as to what might grow in the type of soil on your land, it's important to have a history of what's happened so that we can avoid the pitfalls of the past. If the negatives, what to watch out for, aren't included in that history, then we don't have the benefit of learning from the past, do we?

Making the garden grow takes a long-term commitment, and you'll be much more successful if you gather the right tools first. Then, of course, you have to know how to use them. Pushing a rototiller without turning it on wouldn't be the best use of that tool, would it? But do we expect a good location, at the crossroads of two major highways, with rail and air transportation available, to till the ground, so to speak, without our promoting that, enabling it to work for us?

Nevada and Vernon County have many economic development tools. We have beautiful parks; quick, easy access to recreational areas, a hospital, many services for all sorts of people, educational resources willing to work with business leaders to produce the kind of educated workers needed. We've got small town charm, rich history and plenty of room to grow. We've even got our own oil reserve and a biodiesel production facility.

Gardens also need plenty of sunshine. An open environment, a nurturing environment and sunshine. For communities, sunshine means open communication; honest, quick attention to problems or errors that surface; assurance that the rules will be followed and that fairness will be the rule of the day.

If we have plenty of sunshine, and we use our tools as best we can, sow seeds and make sure those seeds have what they need to grow, then we'll have a community that bears fruit.

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Lynn Wade
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