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I often write and/or talk here about the town I live in. Cause well I think it highlights what is still possible in America. A town of 8,600 folks. A town that is pretty darn Republican. But as I heard our City Manager say a few months ago in a meeting, "people like nice things, nice things cost money."

In 2008, and I live in Illinois, we voted 57% for McCain. In the SAME election we voted 63% to raise our property taxes to build a new $60M high school. It just opened and it is like something out of the future. Stunning. A few years before that we voted another time to raise taxes on businesses, to build, I kid you not more parks and a food pantry. It is hard to walk in any direction more than a few block and not encounter a park.

Well we just got a grant from the Federal government a few months ago. $750,000. What my town is doing with that money will blow your mind.

We're building a fiber optic network. As we speak there are folks working on it. Jobs. The fiber is being run around the entire city in a circle then down through the center of the city. Initially only the schools, library, post office, and government buildings will be connected. But as part of that $750,000 there is a feasibility study that will ask the question, should we wire the entire city?

I am sure it will come back saying yes, yes, yes.

This is the view outside my front door.

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Three blocks from where I live fiber is being laid down. I know in a few months I might have it running into my house.

So what does that mean? In the last year my town has created 287 jobs. Boeing opened up a plant. Monsanto, and I am not a fan of the company, tripled the number of people here. They all say the same thing when asked why. Our schools are some of the best in the country and we keep investing in infrastructure.

 

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 11:01:44 AM PDT

  •  Everytime I Post Something About My City (7+ / 0-)

    I get the same type of comments. In a community that is like 98.7% white, we like to spend money when it goes to other "white" people. True.

    I mentioned my town was 8,600. It was under 5,000 in the 2000 Census. Those numbers are changing. Slowly. But folks want to come live here cause well, we invest money to make things "nice."

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 11:08:19 AM PDT

  •  It is heartening that close to home, at least (5+ / 0-)

    your nieghbors see the value of investing generously in their own community.  

    “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”
    --Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Now if only they could get over the fear that doing so on a larger scale would result in supporting a lot of people who aren't nice, deserving folks like themselves ... maybe they would not vote in such numbers for the party of greed.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 11:21:12 AM PDT

    •  About Six Years Ago We Voted To Raise (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, jgilhousen, mayim, ladybug53

      the taxes on businesses. That was where we expanded our parks. There were a few eye sores on Main Street. We bought those buildings. Tore them down and put up parks. For lack of a better phrase "green spaces." We even paid local artist to do sculptures. Those spaces are pretty popular.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 11:31:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wondering whether you're near the Spoon River? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgilhousen, ladybug53

    I went to the Spoon River Drive pie-apalooza celebration last weekend and had a great time. Four people, eight different kinds of pie.
    It's so pretty and civilized down there - and very Republican.

    The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato

    by manneckdesign on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 12:20:55 PM PDT

  •  Very encouraging, WB - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, ladybug53

    I just heard on NPR about another little town, smack dab in the middle of IA, where hispanic businesses are welcomed and kids are taught bilingually.

    Conversely, in my little town... well, let's just say the TP, all 20 of them, is driving most of us nuts.

    (and yes, for those who wonder, I AM participating in trying to quell their voices. Or perhaps their fears.).

  •  Good news from small-town America! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, ladybug53

    I love to read your posts, but I always want more detail. In this case, I'd have liked more detail about the city manager and people in the city govt who make the right decisions. Also, how does your city attract companies like Boeing and Monsanto, or the funds for a fiber-optic network?  And, what kind of effort went into getting the school bond passed? (63% approval wouldn't have been enough in California - we need 67% because of Prop. 13!)

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:48:57 PM PDT

  •  Five or six years ago during the summer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, ladybug53

    when I was in college, I had an internship with a TV news organization (local). At one point I went out on an assignment with one of the reporters and a cameraman to a senior center. There an older African American man was chatting with a woman roughly his age about how things were going. The woman started complaining about her property taxes, but the man just smiled and said "I like my services."

    I've stolen that line to use more than once. People forget that their taxes go to pay for things they use and everyone needs.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 02:45:59 PM PDT

  •  Well, somebody(ies) are doing something right! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    Small towns scare me nowadays, but it is heartening to read about one doing things in a progressive, intelligent manner.

    "They are the best among us." -- Hedges on #occupywallst

    by livjack on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 03:45:31 PM PDT

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