Now that the election is over, it’s time to gather together all participants and seek consensus, formulate a plan of action that all can rally around and proceed forward with a unified force whose sole purpose is to provide increased employment opportunities while increasing the tax base.
Those of us who belong to Citizen Voices have been accused of being willing to sacrifice our air, water, wildlife and quality of life in order to achieve economic development. Nothing could be further from the truth. We either grew up here and/or lived here all our adult lives and call this home. Many
were born in the local hospital, went to the local schools, are members of the local churches, support local organizations and have invested our lives in this community.
We made this choice because of our love of the area and the quality of life. Our goal is to ensure that our children will have the same opportunities that our parents provided to us and unless we adapt to the standards of the 21st century, this will not be the case.
There are formidable challenges ahead of us. It is rather troubling when the state considers casino gambling as a source of long-term economic development, especially with the social/economical issues associate with gambling. Gambling creates nothing, it provides false hope and the only guarantee is that money is funneled from the populace to the government’s coffers. The lottery was originally set up to fund education and reduce the property tax and we all know how well that worked.
Our goal is to create jobs that add value and produce something the public needs or wants. We need to explore what types of farming, manufacturing, distribution and industry are compatible with our resources and work together to ensure their success.
Robert Harlem Jr.