Written by Don Ratzlaff Thursday, 05 July 2007 07:45Gordon Mohn’s observation that the spirit of cooperation between Hillsboro and Marion had deterriorated in recent years is sobering but accurate, by our reckoning. (See article, Page 6A.) The departing superintendnent for USD 410, an adovcate for collaboration, believes the current state of relations between Marion County’s two largest cities is as strained as it’s been in the 15 years he’s been in that role.
Numerous issues either reflect the rivalry or have contributed to it, including the failure to consolidate hospitals, to share one water-treatment plant, the county’s push for casino gambling and a sales tax increase to build a new jail, and perhaps even the reunion of both schools in the same athletic league after years of competing separately.
How did we get to this point? What underlies the mistrust? We don’t know if a team of trained socioligsts could unravel the cords of discord. The better question may be: Where do we go from here?
The first step is to recognize the importance of cooperation for our mutual survival, and then set our minds to move in that direction, regardless of initial skepticism and past missteps. Who will make the first overture?
The second step is to admit past errors of judgment and resolve not to repeat them. In that vein, we take responsibility for reporting and opinions published in this newspaper that have stirred ill will between our two towns. It wasn’t done with that intent, but in hindsight we recognize the impact—and we regret not being more vigilant. We want to do better in the future.
Who will be next to step forward? —DR