ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
As the result of myriad interviews with business owners, local leaders and public officials, we offer you our third annual “State of the City” report for Hillsboro. It has been inserted in this issue of the Free Press and we offer it to you for your interest and enjoyment. It’s not an exhaustive study or a scientific one, but through the impressions and experiences of fellow residents, you might reach the same conclusion we have: the state of this city…is pretty darn good.
Because the city is booming economically? No. Hillsboro is growing, yes. But in truth, a difficult agricultural economy in 2000 has created fiscal challenges not only for farmers, but for most small, rural cities like ours, where the livelihood of local businesses is tied to the economic condition of our rural friends and neighbors. The economy is not booming here. But we sense a commitment to persevere and to find ways to make it happen here anyway.
That’s why we say we’re doing well. We hear in the comments of those people who make a difference in our city an optimism about the future and a determination to make that positive future happen.
Not all dreams come true. We’ve had our share of disappointments and failures this past year. But when we consider the number of industries that started here and are now prospering, when we continue to see people willing to start new businesses on Main Street, when we hear the stories of the many people here who are committed to meeting the needs of children, adults and families-whether through public service, education, health care, or religious service-we realize we have something pretty special here.
A community rises and falls on the values of its people. In Hillsboro, we value people, hard work and progress. We express those values in various forms. We expect to see results. Most times we do.
We have our share of challenges-ensuring the future of health-care services, providing more well-paying jobs so people who want to stay here can do so, and making sure that our young people succeed in a changing world.
We encourage you to spend some time with our Annual Report. You may learn something you didn’t know about this place. You may discover some good things happening around us. You might even be inspired to contribute what you can to make our city even better.