Our community has secured commitments from five key partners (Lincoln University, St. Mary's Hospital, Hawthorn Bank, Central Bank and the state of Missouri) to make Transformation achievable.
What is significant about these partnerships is that, unlike some economic development efforts other communities have experimented with, these agreements provide a very broad base of current partners who are ready to re-invest with us.
They are looking beyond the current, sometimes depressing, horizons and announcing their willingness to make investments that will generate growth for years to come, probably beyond the lifetimes of many of us. They are stepping up with us because they know that in today's challenging economic climate there is no treading water. They know that if we do not grow and prosper we will decline and fail.
Particularly exciting is the commitment from the state of Missouri to partner with us to retain a 130-acre treasure that without Transformation will become an embarrassing array of crumbling buildings. We have to search for common goals and commit resources to achieve them. That is what this agreement announces.
To put this in context, let me present a couple of questions:
How long have we wanted to partner with Lincoln University to help that economic engine expand and bring its energy more directly into the community? Transformation and Lincoln University say "We can do it now, and this is how."
How will we make sure that the historic, very prominent site of the former St. Mary's Hospital will be something that benefits the community and not a vacant or underutilized site? Transformation and St. Mary's say "We can do it now, and this is how."
Finally, with the state's economic woes, how can we be sure that MSP is maintained, made available for community uses and private development, and will continue to attract visitors from around the nation, and not crumble to the ground? Transformation and the Office of Administration say, "We can do it now, and this is how."
These agreements are not the final products. But they are the essential first steps in something that is very exciting.
I cannot wait to see how the image, vibrancy and economic vitality of our city will be transformed with investments from the community, and from these five key partners. Read the documents at: www.transformjeffersoncity.com.
Please vote yes to Transform Jefferson City on Feb. 7.