Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:45
Two weeks ago an article describing Hillsboro’s economic health appeared on our front page. Overall, it painted a pretty good picture of our town and how it is doing in several areas that can and have been measured.
The least favorable area was public school enrollment, which has been trending downward for a while now. This is happening while the overall population is trending up.
The information contained in the report is something to feel good about, but there is always more work to do.
I have been thinking that the most important task we have as a community is to make young families welcome here and provide all of the services that they need and more.
Plus, it needs to be the most kid-friendly environment one can find anywhere.
Plentiful and affordable day care and preschool would seem to be at the top of the list in my view. We have some work to do here.
Recreation choices and public places to play would also rank high. An initiative is underway to replace the old playground equipment at Memorial Park. The Sports Complex and aquatic center are top of the line already. Programs offered by the city and private individuals are quite good, but there is room for more.
Oh, and there need to be jobs that pay well for the parents of these children, plus affordable housing choices.
There is still room for improvement in Internet offerings that would be enticing to entrepreneurs who need fast Internet options to succeed.
Another piece of the puzzle is a robust retail and services district. We have much to offer, but in addition to trying to find new businesses to come to town, we need to support the ones already here.
The best way to do that would be for us to buy from our local businesses and for business owners to buy from each other. I sometimes hear complaints from business owners that even some of the other business owners don’t buy from them while they are guilty of the same behavior.
Higher-priced gasoline makes shopping at home an even smarter decision. We have found that there really isn’t much we can’t find right here at home. Considering the convenience of it, there is no need to go anywhere else. And if too many folks use the quick-shop mentality for purchasing locally, a day may come when you will be driving 30 miles or more for a lot of things.
A shrinking tax base is a bad thing for everyone. A growing tax base is good for everyone. So buy all that you can from your friends and neighbors. A local person’s job, or even your job, depends on it.
3D TV is pretty cool, but I don’t like the glasses you have to wear to watch it.
Maybe they will have laser surgery to take care of that problem someday. Actually, they are working on 3D TV that doesn’t require the viewer to wear special glasses.
A word of caution when reading the public records that are printed weekly in the Free Press.
There are occasions when something could be filed in the court records that is dismissed later because of an external error. So what may seem to look bad for an individual really isn’t what it appears to be.
At the same time, I believe having one’s name appear in the records isn’t nearly the stigma that it used to be.