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Your Opinion: Opportunity to invest in future

Dear Editor:

Jefferson City is headed towards a vote that leads us into uncharted waters. I am not sure of a time in the past where the community as a whole has come together to discuss and bring to fruition the initiative we are calling Transformation. Jefferson City is a beautiful river city that had the privilege of being developed in the early 19th century. It has prospered because of all the assets it had in transportation, work ethic and leadership. Opportunities still exist here in 2012, but the world has changed quite a bit since Jefferson City’s first surge.

Global markets have changed the entire manufacturing industry across the United States. Businesses push hard to modernize the hardware and equipment as well as the policies and standards it expects of its employees and management team. Transformation has the same objectives for the community. We need to invest in technology and policies that will continue to adapt, so that we are able to stay productive and offer something for all generations who call this home.

There are some wonderful concepts that have been presented through the Transformation process. The big picture looks at what it costs to address some of our outdated infrastructure and assets, which in their current form are less appealing to at-risk developers.

For those who want more answers about who will oversee the Transformation projects, the city has made a great decision in hiring Roger Schwartze as the new director of public works, because he will oversee these projects.

Until his retirement last year, Roger was district engineer for MoDOT’s central region. He oversaw many projects across the state that were much larger and more complicated than the scope of Transformation. Although there are some unanswered questions about some of the projects, we can trust Roger Schwartze to ask the right questions and put together all of the details that need to be answered. As a city employee, he will see that these projects become great successes.

I hope the community sees this as a once-in-a-multiple-generation opportunity to invest in itself.

Please join me to vote yes to transform Jefferson City on Feb. 7.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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