Jeff Dorris

Deliberations from Dorris

Jeff Dorris is the Editor of the Delta Dunklin Democrat


How to ruin a town

Saturday, February 8, 2020

From time to time I like to go back in the paper archives and read old articles and editorials.

A good friend of mine brought me a copy of an editorial this week that originally ran in the DDD on November 29, 1989.

It seems like they were dealing with some of the same issues concerning hometown pride that we are today.

It was titled, “How to ruin a town”.

Here are a few excerpts.

Attend no meetings of any kind. Criticize the way “they” are doing things.

Complain about the police department, fire department, city government, chamber of commerce, and other civic groups.

Keep convincing yourself that your attendance at school programs, service clubs, concerts, ball games, exhibits, and benefit programs is not important-you’ll never be missed.

Knock your city council or county commission. Talk about the “kick-backs” the politicians at City Hall or the Courthouse must be getting.

Purchase most of your goods out of town or through discount and mail order catalogs. These firms never come forth with donations or services for the community.

Remind others that your local newspaper and radio stations are no good.

Remember that all kids are delinquents, all businessmen are crooks and that uncomplimentary remarks about the town are the order of the day.

Above all, always be skeptical, cynical and negative about anything that is designed for the community’s progress or betterment. Your motto should be, “If it’s good, it can’t happen here.”


Thirty years ago they were trying to encourage the community to support and promote our town.

At the end of the column, the writer asked the citizens to make sure that the story of ruining a town is not written about Kennett.

Today I implore you to do the same.

I hope thirty years from now another editor won’t be compelled to print this column.

See you out there.

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