Do we embrace complacency or the future?

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Along with some of my fellow community members, I was grieved to hear that two more historic buildings were going to be demolished in order to create new businesses and jobs for Eminence. However, what saddens and perplexes me even more is that there have been many more that have fallen long before we arrived 17 years ago. Their memories remain in beautiful portraits that reside in City Hall.

I would like to take the time to applaud Tom Shroyer and the council members that served alongside him; for without their leadership and efforts, the Depot that houses City Hall could possibly be gone at this time as well. We are grateful for this structure that the city was able to acquire and preserve.

However, I can’t help but wonder why our community did not rise up several years ago after the tornado ravaged our city. One of the results of the damage was a beautiful, historic building which sat without a roof for one and a half years, and completely destroyed the interior of the old dance hall. We study history in school so that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. As residents of Eminence, do we embrace complacency until unwanted change rears its’ head?

Our city leaders and trusted officials do an amazing job representing the diversity and uniqueness that makes Eminence the quaint community it is here. We have distinct small town values. Sometimes I have the thought of comparing Eminence to Mayberry, but it is not. Mayberry and its values simply do not exist in 2013 America. I applaud our elected city leaders who are thoughtfully and reflectively leading us into the future.

Furthermore, community and compromise have the same prefix, which means fully. Add an ‘e’ to come and you have the word come. It is time for our community to fully come together and plan for the future of our fledgling city. There are some great entities here that competition, directed interest and preservation can support.

It is going to take much longer than 90 days to accomplish this goal and will require dedicated volunteers to work hand in hand with our city council members. Eminence is worth it! Who will be the ones to step up and ensure that this happens for the future?

Jennifer Stephens