But other communities are revving up their activities too: Truckee, with its revitalized downtown, western U.S. “destination” marketing push and multimillion-dollar spending by ski developers; South Placer, now the region’s shopping hub (whether you like it or not); and exciting improvements in downtown Auburn, Loomis and Lincoln.
“Collaboration” is the buzzword.
In our western county, I worry we’re still stuck in a time warp, with little to no vision about our future. Instead, we let a lot of self-serving interests tug us around in different directions.
Our community still struggles to see the “big picture.”
Recent examples include fighting over a political booth at an event that is geared toward the merchants, at a revitalized Grass Valley Downtown Association. Shopping, not politics, is the goal.
Then there’s our County Board of Supervisors, inviting an out-of-state, right “wing nut” advocate to speak about “forest management practices,” when we have invigorated forestry management right in our own community, led by an expert, Tom Quinn.
It is the epitome of caving to vocal but minority right-wing political interests — something that has come to define too much of the supervisors’ activities.
We are “purple” politically; in our county, President Obama lost to Mitt Romney by only a few hundred votes. Is anybody on the board listening or just living in a “bubble”?
Our staunchly conservative Sheriff has no business spending his time speaking to extreme political groups, either — we elected him for law enforcement. Does he want to be our version of “Sheriff Joe” of Arizona? His ego seems to be in overdrive.
Our newspaper — which boasts about its “community spirit” — is stuck behind a “paywall,” the epitome of business self-interest in an era of social media.
Most times when people come up with a new way to revitalize our local economy, it is met with dissent. We still look askance at “new blood” or new ideas, rushing to protect our old ways in isolationist style.
Our western county community is at a crossroads, still struggling with a vision for itself — much less a way to consistently collaborate with our neighbors.
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