No one thing is going to solve all our problems!

The aerial photo of downtown (at the incomplete Concern for Local Economy) is kinda ugly at first glance, but anyone who's spent time in our downtown knows how wonderfully walkable it is! Increasing density downtown is still possible, because in addition to redevelopment (Via Via, anyone?) we can still go *up* -- without having inappropriate skyscrapers looming over us!

There's been a lot of talk lately about the amount of tax revenue increased commercial activity might generate. Some hope "increased economic development" will solve all our problems. Some say "increased economic development" is nearly pointless because it only brings in small increases (although it's rarely mentioned that those small increases, year after year, do add up -- just like our structural deficit!).

I'm here to say NOTHING is going to solve ALL our problems -- but that doesn't mean *do* nothing, that means we don't just depend on *one thing*! If we had a nickel for every person who's said the "real" solution is to increase state aid to communities, we'd have a lot of nickels, but we've seen no result from the folks who say we need to lobby the state. The only exception I am aware of is the wonderful parents and other community members who pulled together last spring to convince the Ways and Means Committees that we needed to not *reduce* the FY07 budget any more than was already being done!

Increasing efficiency and communication between inspector and permitting services is critical to keeping our small business community thriving, and it's great we're finally focusing on that. Again, fixing that *one thing* will not be enough to solve all our problems. We also need to believe that small steps toward allowing things like multiple clients to a professional research park will not end life as we know it in our beloved small town, but instead give our local businesspeople that little bit of room they need in order to develop and grow *our* local economy, not just stay in their home offices or get space in a neighboring community.