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Meeting the challenges ahead

October 6, 2010
The Daily Freeman Journal

With the opening of the new Van Diest Medical Center, and the opening up of Superior Street to through traffic, things are getting back to normal. County Road D20 west of Webster City is open again, and getting in and out of town is much easier.

Despite the inconvenience, the changes were necessary to accommodate the new hospital location and traffic to the county courthouse. Predictably, some will complain that there was nothing wrong with the old setup, forgetting that at some point, it was a change that other people complained about before they came along. Change is only change until we get accustomed to it, then it becomes tradition.

Webster City is facing several challenges and changes that will determine its direction over the next decade. Electrolux leaving next year will require the city to find ways to balance the books with a reduced tax base, which may mean cutting services or raising taxes. The current economic environment means the community will need to find new ways to attract businesses that will not locate in Webster City only temporarily but stay long term and create steady good-paying jobs. The continued exodus of young people out of Webster City and Iowa in general to other cities and other states, means bringing in new industry may be more difficult because of an aging and shrinking workforce.

The good news, is that many people in our community are making strong efforts to address these changes instead of just complaining. But it can't be just "some people's" job to boost our city's profile and allow us to weather the rattles and bumps of the next few years. It has to be everyone's job.

Please, get involved in your community and make an effort to grow and build. Towns that never change only exist in "The Twilight Zone." Towns that don't adjust to meet challenges head on just fade away.



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