Carbondale economic decisions need some heart and soul
Editors note: This letter was originally addressed to “the decision makers of Carbondale.”
I was born and raised here. I have a somewhat unique opportunity to say “I remember when .” I remember growing up in Carbondale and being turned loose on the streets to play.
The other day a woman remarked to me that she wishes she could afford to raise her children in Carbondale. “There is an incomparable quality to Carbondale,” she said. What a beautiful thing to say of a mere town. I share her sentiments. I love this town. Main Street is inviting, and everything beautiful still surrounds us.
But . my heart would break if Carbondale accepted and built an oversized retail complex. Every time I would drive, walk, or ride by that corner of town, my heart would break. It would leave nothing but a negative impression on me.
This is a purely emotional response to change. And I offer no excuses for it. There are facts to prove numerous solutions to our economic situation. And we are at that crucial moment where a solution must be found. Yet, how can you make a decision based just on the facts? Emotions or what we feel strongly about are equally important.
I want to believe that everyone involved in the decision-making process regarding Carbondale’s economic future would feel some reservation about giving Carbondale this kind of identity. A little bit of your heart would break, too. You, as decision-makers, want these entities to ensure Carbondale’s economic sustainability, which is admirable and is your job. But maybe you should follow your heart on this one.
This development adds nothing in aesthetic beauty, nothing to the sense of community, nothing to the betterment of the people of this community. It adds revenue, it may add economic security, and it may add more money to our pot. Money – that is what is behind this decision. Not any heart and soul.
Because it lacks in so many areas, why not, as decision-makers, step up and seize an opportunity. Plan and create something that ADDS to the community, not something that merely supplies the community. As decision-makers, you must be innovators. That is what sets you apart, and ultimately that is what you were elected to do. We have options. And fortunately for us, they are going to be harder to achieve, but worth so much more. The results could be something that is uniquely better.
On behalf of all those that feel this is a bad idea, good luck at being as creative as possible in this important issue. Rise to the occasion, follow what feels right for this beautiful town.
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