Our Opinion: Specifics help delineate ‘the vision thing’

“The vision thing” has confounded government leaders since an exasperated former President George H.W. Bush famously coined the phrase.

Vision, simply, is an objective.

As practiced, it is actively pursuing an objective amid variables.

Change is a constant. Government, and its leaders, can either act or react. Government without vision is buffeted by change. Government with vision follows an established course.

The pesky vision question was put to Jefferson City leaders, and their responses were published in a story in Sunday’s News Tribune.

Mostly, the responses were mission statements, such as Mayor Eric Struemph’s desire “to improve the overall quality of life.”

We’re all for that.

And, mostly, city officials said developing a vision should be inclusive, involving the mayor, council, administration and residents.

We’re all for that, too.

The comment that came closest to identifying a specific vision came from 3rd Ward Councilman Bob Scrivner, who said: “… to make Jefferson City a destination city for youth sports and youth sports activities.”

That not only is an objective, it’s an objective that builds on an existing strength.

The next question is whether the community — residents, businesses, area chamber of commerce, city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, etc. — support that objective.

If so, the next step is development of a strategy to achieve the objective.

A priority is retention of existing youth sports activities now held in Jefferson City. The elation of luring new prospects must not overshadow attention to and appreciation for repeat athletes, families and fans.

Regarding new prospects: What new youth sports, activities and competitions does the city want to attract? What incentives, resources, facilities, etc., will be needed? How will they be financed? What is the benefit/payoff for the city?

In future Our Opinion forums, we intend to explore other specific visions Jefferson City might consider.

Any vision, however, is a futile exercise if it lacks any of these three elements — shared support, commitment of time and energy, and leadership.


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