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Your Opinion: Transformation based on public input

Your Opinion: Transformation based on public input

February 1st, 2012 by Marc Ellinger, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

During the initial preparation of Cole County's Comprehensive Plan we conducted a demographic study. It showed that our population has aged and the number of young people, both as a percentage and a real number, has diminished, a trend that foretells a slow death of a community.

I know of no one in our community that doesn't acknowledge the loss of young people is a problem that needs to be remedied. Since the problem is clear, we must develop a solution or accept the consequences of doing nothing, a slow fade away, like the railroad towns of old.

The Transformation process has been the most open and input friendly process in the history of Jefferson City. Not only were public forums on the issues presented, but everyone was invited to offer their ideas and serve on any one or more of the numerous committees looking at solutions.

After months of committee meetings, public meetings and notices, and news articles, a final plan was developed; not by one person or small group of persons but from the community as a whole. It is this plan that appears on the ballot on Feb. 7 as the Transformation sales tax.

I read in these pages the arguments of the opponents against Transformation. None have offered another solution to the problem confronting our community. None, not a single one, reference the writer having attended any committee meetings.

In 2006, I ran for presiding commissioner in an attempt to move our community forward. I wanted to make a difference so my kids would see our community as a place they would want to build a family, a career and a future. I believe that most of us want the same, whether it is for ourselves, our kids or our grandkids, we want a growing dynamic community that makes young people want to live here.

This is the essence of Transformation. An opportunity to change our community for the better: To make Jefferson City and Cole County an inviting place for young people; to revitalize our history to insure a bright future; and to show ourselves and everyone in America, that Jefferson City is the place you want to live, now and in the future.

For these reasons, and many more, I am supporting the Transformation sales tax and am asking you to join me to make our community a better place by voting yes on Feb. 7.