Bob Andrews

Where do we go from here?

December 01, 2000
Some if history’s finest moments have come from a deep split between two factions, then a measured mellowing-out of opposite views into a workable compromise — which often is better than either of the original proposals. So let it be in this, our little town, which sits silently by, waiting for its future destiny to open up and become reality. This is a town which has seen many profound changes in the last century: It has all the elements of an antebellum period in history, where wars have been won and lost. But the nucleus of the town, the spirit and the opportunities, are still here. Still, it will take some dedicated and mature thinking and planning to bring about the real potential of this town and its surrounding countryside.This is poor advice, coming from an ex-newspaper publisher, building-industries executive, and piano player. (Egads, how did he get into the picture?)Still, we have “been there” and “done that,” and our best counsel to our beloved town is “Be patient”; our best course lies ahead, and by “opening-up” to other viewpoints and taking the best elements of each into account we can carve out a master plan that works.This, coming from a guy who can’t even play his day, let alone a whole community’s future, should be regarded as advice easily cast aside; consider the source and instead rely on the expert land-planners who understand what the land can tolerate and what it cannot. (That is the question: What are we doing to the land and what must we activate now to keep from just burying this beautiful valley under asphalt and concrete?)On one hand, we open Pandora’s box of “horribles” by letting rampant growth consume us; on the other hand, we let our town slip into oblivion by doing nothing to chart its future course.In fact, this is no rudderless ship we are riding onto the rocks; it is still a quaint little village with its own brand of charm. From the nucleus of what others planned and built before us, we can continue to set the tone for future growth which will give our children and heirs the message to keep up the good fight. (And fight it will be; you can depend on that. Our biggest enemy is, and always has been, the profit motive: “What’s in it for me?”) To that we must say “Back off!” This land is a sacred trust and it is not up for grabs to the highest bidder! Most of us moved here for the quaint flavor of our village, and we’d be fools to let that particular quality escape us under the lure of quick profits today (and headaches tomorrow).
(Ever wish you were about 40 years younger?) Well, we’re not, but we do have some really fine people stepping into the breach, and they will certainly get our support and best wishes.Growth is inevitable; it is also healthy since it shuns stagnation and looks to change as opportunity for improvement. In this, we have a “location” advantage unmatched anywhere in the County -- unparalleled climate, orchards and open land so very precious to us all, hillsides for shelter and view, and a potential influx of new homes and commerce which will define and augment the qualities of our town.To achieve our goals is no simple matter; recent election results indicated that. But we are, most of us, of similar mind insofar as community support and dedication are concerned.Let us trust one another, and take another big step ahead, to protect our little town and expand its financial base. That’s a big order, but it is not out of our reach.

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