Focus on Greene’s future, not past

February 15, 2014

Hopelessly stalled in the minds of Greene County’s reigning gentry is an all-consuming fondness for ancestry and history. Unfortunately, the dispossessed posterity and destiny are not attended nearly as well.

That is the cause of our historically disgraceful economy and our low median incomes. Eight in 10 of our native young people are traditionally forced to exit Greene County in pursuit of a livelihood. This gives rise to a question: What evidence is there that the progeny drain has a significant adverse impact on the quality of life in Greene County? An outstanding example is found in the Jan. 30 edition of the Observer-Reporter, “Bank of Sweets may have a new owner.” An easily-drawn conclusion is the Bank of Sweets has gone sour following more than 20 years of effort.

A Rices Landing civic group endeavored to preserve a small, 100-year-old bank building. Several attempts were made to restore the building, but all failed. The latest plan is to dump the project onto the taxpayer-backed local fire company.

A member of the civic group reportedly lamented, “What concerns me is the building is just sitting there. We hung on as long as we could. So many folks who did belong (to the group) died or became too old to be involved.”

What greater reason can there be for Greene County civic groups to refocus from preservation of a lackluster past to a promising, bright future? It will not be easy. The needs are indeed great. For starters, a partial list is provided as follows:

1) First and foremost, animate the Greene County Industrial Development Authority.

2) Construct a sorely needed new, state-of-the-art building to house the Flenniken Public Library in Carmichaels.

3) Rekindle the Waynesburg Route 21 bypass project.

4) Start a project for a Route 88 bypass of Carmichaels.

5) Expand both routes 21 and 88 to four lanes.

6) Vitalize consolidation of all five county school districts into a single, world-class school system under one roof.

7) Develop a countywide storm water management system.

A lot of precious time has been wasted. It may seem to be awfully late to be just getting started. The way I see it, it is better late than never.

Paul Lagojda

Cumberland Township

Focus on Greene’s future, not past


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