Tuesday, March 7

Success of our community requires accepting growth

I will present the following statement at the commission meeting this evening.


Madame Mayor and Honored Commissioners;

Tonight I rise to speak about growth in our community.

We live in a wonderful community, one with a very bifurcated history and promising, yet troubled, future. While we are suffering a declining population base, we remain the population center for all of Northcentral Montana. That gives us promise.

However, we can only fulfill that promise if we allow, accept and nurture growth. That growth might not always come in a form we might more appreciate, like a new manufacturing plant or call center. Today it comes in the form of a large retail enterprise, be in called Walgreens or be it called Wal-Mart.

If we deny this retail enterprise the opportunity to move here, we are making many statements. One of those statements is that we do not welcome growth in Great Falls, and that we want our community to continue to decline.

For one, I do not want this. I want our community to grow and prosper. I want my children to be able to make a living and stay here.

While retail enterprises from national and international chains might not bring the high paying jobs we need in this community, the availablity of retail opportunities is one factor that might just convince the next manufacturing plant or call center to call Great Falls home.

Madame Mayor and honored commissioners, I urge you to accept the zoning ordinance before you today. Allow this growth to come to our town.

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