EDITORIAL- Big lessons in small towns

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Two of the smallest communities in Marion County are providing a huge model for the rest of us when it comes to generating new economic development and revitalization.

At the geographical north-south extremes of the county lie Ramona and Burns, the citizens of which in recent years have stubbornly refused to let their small villages succomb to an “inevitable” death. In fact, both comunities have displayed a level of can-do energy that would makes us all rich if it could be bottled and mass marketed. You can read about some of their latest exploits in our County-Wide section starting on Page 20.

Neither Ramona nor Burns are experiencing phenomonal growth in terms of population and economic wealth. But they are accomplishing remarkable things in the context of their respective settings. The lesson to be learned here is not so much what they have produced, but the way they are going at it.

At a time when some in the county will invite almost any “economic development” huckster into our midst, including landfills and casinos, these two small towns are forging a better future the old-fashioned way: citizens are stepping up to the plate, taking risks, making investments and challenging their neighbors to join them.

Lead on Ramona. Point the way Burns. We have much to learn from you.

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