Council can help keep us grounded

Given that most of our homes and businesses sit at an elevation of roughly 3,400 feet, Rossland residents are used to some high-altitude perspectives. But Sandy Santori makes a good point about staying grounded when it comes to spurring economic development.

Given that most of our homes and businesses sit at an elevation of roughly 3,400 feet, Rossland residents are used to some high-altitude perspectives. But Sandy Santori makes a good point about staying grounded when it comes to spurring economic development.

As the Rossland News reports today, the executive director of the Lower Columbia Initiative Corporation (LCI) recently visited

Rossland to talk about how the city can best grow its economy, and he warned against taking points of view that are too lofty when coming up with development plans.

For example, Santori pointed to a particular report aimed at developing arts, culture and entertainment in the area which he described as being “done at a 15,000 foot level.” In other words, it had “a lot of great ideas” but didn’t accomplish much in terms of actually securing funding sources or otherwise finding the capital needed to turn those ideas into realities.

Of course, it’s not that overviews and broad perspectives are inherently bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. They are an excellent starting point when developing plans, and failing to do so can lead to some short-sighted ideas. The meeting Santori hosted on May 26 took a broad perspective of its own, as participants discussed a wide range of topics and bandied about a host of diverse ideas on everything from transportation to education to culture to recreation.

But at some point we will need to pare down the list of ideas and, as a community, focus on a small number of projects or initiatives. Ideally this would happen by consensus by in reality, of course, not everyone will agree on which ideas should be given top priority.

For this reason, we hope to see city council take a leadership role in making some of these decisions as we move forward, in addition to  helping to secure any public sources of funding that might be available and encouraging investment from the private sector as well.

— Rossland News