SBE News


… no simple and fast solution

We are all aware of the social problems our community faces. These problems are not unique to us, but, if left unresolved, can define our community (and not in a good way!).

Plato Philosophers FrescoHere is the reality as I see it. We are still a small town economy, experiencing many big city problems. We lack revenue streams to support government operation and we carry significant costs in our governmental structure.  As a result, we cannot provide the essential services (police, jail space, mental health) necessary to develop and executive an effective strategy for moving our community forward. And, there is no simple and fast solution to this.

So, here are 3 things we must do:

  1. We can NO longer focus on what we cannot do. Local government does themselves and our community a disservice (or more accurately, a lack of service) when the only answer we hear is, “we have no money, we can’t afford to do it”.  The public sector has to promote a culture of innovation to design creative solutions. There is an old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention”. This saying appears in the dialogue Republic, by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato…so it’s had value for several thousand years) Look around…it’s necessary!
  2. We need to drive our economy by creating a business-friendly environment that supports business diversity and stimulates entrepreneurialism, by building collaboration between the business community and local government to earn trust and navigate obstacles, and by encouraging business development in key sectors like tourism, healthcare, construction, technology, education, the arts, viticulture, craft brewing and agribusiness.
  3. We need to train our young people and create career paths.  We need to continue to stress the importance of skills training (trade skills, robotics, advanced manufacturing, etc) and not focus solely on college. Creating career opportunities for high school students, for the current under-employed, and for “at risk” people is very important. Sometimes, the difference between a person who adds value to society and one who is a drain on society is a good paying job.  Good job skills restore hope, forge a sense of purpose, and can break the cycle of poverty, homelessness, drug abuse, and a variety of other social problems.

In summary, we need to focus on what we can do, and, as a community, work together towards these common goals.