Nostalgia for the past is NOT a policy position.

Apparently, for some, it needs to be pointed out: pining for something we don’t have, can’t have, and probably never again will have (e.g. a robust timber industry) does nothing to solve our problems; it just helps us to pretend they’re not important… right up until they come crashing down upon us.

Yes, Cottage Grove was stronger, economically, when we had a strong timber industry. But news flash, folks: it’s not coming back. We have to face that fact and move forward, or we’re going to stagnate and die… and Cottage Grove will, someday soon, be nothing more than a distant bedroom community for Eugene/Springfield.

If that’s what you want, of course, then you’re not going to want me as mayor. But here’s what I want. I want Cottage Grove to have an existence independent of the metro area. I want it to have a robust economy, which means diversification, so that one industry’s fall doesn’t lead to a localized recession. And that, in turn, means letting entrepreneurship among the citizenry thrive, without onerous and unnecessary regulation or top-down attempts by municipal government to pick economic winners and losers.

We can complain about losing the past, or we can start focusing on building the future. Only one of those options will lead to anything good happening.

Come with me, and let’s try to help Cottage Grove step forward into the next century, instead of throwing chains over it in a doomed effort to keep it in the last.

8 comments on “Nostalgia for the past is NOT a policy position.

  1. Duane Taddei says:

    Can we do this without becoming Eugene?


    • jakeboone says:

      The vast majority of cities who’ve pulled this off have managed to do so without becoming Eugene. I think we’ve got good odds.


  2. Duane tADDEI says:

    Here’s a neat little story regarding growing and not having a way to pay for it.. This is one of many residents fears…


    • jakeboone says:

      This is exactly why we need to stay focused on fully funding the stuff we have to do, and then only do as much of the “fun” stuff as we can afford with what’s left over. Parks are great and all, but if you can’t pay for them in the long run, you’re doing your constituents a disservice.


  3. James says:

    I agree with this completely. I really hope to be able to see what you can accomplish for all of us. I believe you can do great things for Cottage Grove. Lead the way, good sir!


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