Your Opinion: Why is city pursuing conference center?

Dear Editor:

Why is the city pushing forward on this convention center idea?

I don’t really understand why our city is full speed ahead with this convention center plan while it is clear that from an economic point of view our town is in decline.

Every manufacturing plant in town has experienced layoffs, many of our commercial buildings on the boulevard and in local shopping centers sit vacant, and it is clear that the bike lane on the side of the Missouri River bridge was a huge waste of money that achieved nothing.

Our local chamber of commerce has been investigating why young people don’t want to live here. It is no surprise that the city of Columbia has grown by over 20,000 residents since the last census and Jefferson City has experienced little to no growth at all. I have noticed that our town is very resistant to change and as a community in general, diversity seems to be attacked rather than embraced.

The employers of tomorrow are looking for a diverse and well- educated population to staff their businesses. Columbia seems to be up to the challenge while Jefferson City seems left behind scratching our heads!

I read many of these opinion posts and listen to locals attack and blame our problems mostly on liberals and other social minorities of our town. The fact is that in order to experience growth you need a reason to come here, and this will take more than a bike lane to nowhere over a bridge or a new convention center to achieve this.

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