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.