Jeff Dorris

Deliberations from Dorris

Jeff Dorris is the Editor of the Delta Dunklin Democrat


Where do we go from here?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Kennett was rocked once again this week with the news of a major employer leaving the area.

Parker-Hannifin announced Tuesday they would be phasing out their hose products facility in Kennett and closing in September.

Iíve talked to many people during the week concerning this loss and the effect it will have on our community.

Some were angry.

Some were sad, and some were completely indifferent.

A few asked me to try and put a positive spin to it with my column.

Thatís hard to do.

Kennett has lost a lot in a short period of time.

With the loss of our industries and the closing of the hospital, Kennett is definitely struggling.

People are leaving.

For sale signs are prominent throughout the city.

Where do we go from here?

There are really only two directions to go and weíve been headed in the wrong one for far too long.

We didnít get here overnight and there is no quick fix.

This will take a group effort with fresh ideas and innovative thinking.

We will never bring back the jobs of the past. Many of those industries are in decline due to automation, outsourcing, and many other economic trends.

We need to look at jobs of the future.

Encourage businesses to locate here.

Incentives, incentives, incentives.

Kennett has many positives.

Our school system is excellent, for one.

We have bright, educated young people here.

We desperately need to find a way to keep them here.

We must find a way to stop the migration from the area.

We need to build on our existing strengths.

Encourage entrepreneurship and rehab old buildings.

Many ideas have been discussed.

Some of have been discussed for years.

What hasnít been seen in years is results from these discussions.

There is a lot of talking, plus meeting after meeting, but when it comes time for action, not much happens.

We cannot stay anchored to inaction any longer.

Many look to our leaders for direction and answers, but this problem falls on every citizen.

Get involved.

It has also been said that rural America is becoming the new inner city.

Small rural towns are plagued with poor infrastructure and empty buildings.

Take a look around. Despite efforts to improve the looks of our city, many neighborhoods are still in need of a makeover.

Kennett needs a transformation.

It needs vision.

We as a community need to figure out the common denominators that are causing these losses, and look towards solutions to overcome these roadblocks.

We need to do this quickly.

Before it really is too late.

See you out there.

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