Keep up the collaboration

Marion County’s two largest cities don’t have the luxury of not collaborating to thrive. Hillsboro and Marion must treat each other not just as neighbors but almost as one entity to survive and thrive.

Reading Lou Thurston’s report below makes me happy. Both cities have collaborated in the past on many issues. Both mayors talk the talk, too.

It was refreshing to hear Thurston publicly say that collaboration was a must.

Marion County residents need to support the leadership in this aspect. There are key economic policy issues coming down the pike. There is a treatment plant issue coming soon.

Many of these issues can be solved through collaboration and, in the long run, will save taxpayers money, making it more attractive to live here.

Allow town pride to show during the football and basketball games, but leave it on the court.

For Marion County to thrive, it must think as one entity, where what is good for Marion is good for Hillsboro and vice versa.

Marion County doesn’t have the same advantages as our neighboring counties. There is no Newton to lead the charge like Harvey County has. No El Dorado like Butler. No McPherson, either.

There is no dominant city in Marion County where most of the population lives. We have two very similar cities, which are much smaller than our neighboring county seat partners.

To compete with just simply size and convenience, Marion and Hillsboro must act like one city in some ways. Shop with the businesses in both towns. Don’t be obsessed with what your neighbor has. See if the two cities can complement each other economically.

What Marion County needs to realize is that we are one region made up of good places to live. Those nice places to live make up the region, and more collaboration is how to get everyone to thrive within that region.

– Joey Young, Publisher