Contributed by Ron Johnson, President and CEO, Central Bancorp
Discussions and opinions about the direction of our downtown have been lively lately along with an ongoing debate on where the focus should be placed for it to thrive and be contemporary in this century and beyond. Do we need a downtown stadium or a family-friendly entertainment and shopping district? Should we build more museums or develop the amateur sports scene? Is there a need for growth in residential and grocery options?
The answer to these questions—and the success of any future downtown projects—depends on the strength of three pillars of our community: The safety and cleanliness of our neighborhoods, the quality of our educational system, and the success of our small businesses. With safe streets, a growing and qualified workforce, and employers to supply jobs, we will have the population and visitor base to support a vibrant downtown and the city as a whole. Without a doubt, we live in a beautiful community with great potential for growth into an energetic, safe, well-educated, and diverse city with great housing, dining, and entertainment options throughout.
As a business rooted downtown, we certainly appreciate the ongoing efforts of the many local businesses and individuals who endeavor to support improvement in our community. Any step we take toward a more prosperous city with a strong core will depend on us coming together as a community and achieving success together.