Those attending Monday night’s Cleveland Board of Education meeting saw the strength of sharing information. In our front-page coverage in Tuesday’s edition, Managing Editor David Davis reported on a presentation made by Sherry Crye, vice president for work force development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
In her detailed address, Ms. Crye pointed to the local influence of two major developments in the area — the Volkswagen and Wacker Chemie plants — and how these new industries will bring new families, and more school-aged children, to the community. Such an increase in population will understandably affect the Cleveland City School System, and most likely the Bradley County School System as well.
Her presentation brought to the forefront what the BCC 2035 Joint Strategic Plan is teaching — that to be prepared for certain growth over the next 25 years we must work together, share information and properly plan for economic development as opposed to just letting it happen in ramshackle form. Taking this approach — while it might not be perfect — will offer us the best opportunity for sustained, and organized, growth. At the very least, it will better prepare us for what is coming.
Being unprepared means our infrastructure will be sadly undernourished.
If we do not communicate our common needs, the transportation network — city, county and state roadways — will be sorely inadequate causing traffic congestion nightmares, unforeseen bottlenecks and increased vehicular accidents.
If we do not communicate our common needs, law enforcement — both city and county — will be hard-pressed to control crime and afford our residents the kind of 24/7 protection they deserve, and which they should expect.
If we do not communicate our common needs, public utilities services — electric, water, sewer, gas, electronic, among others — will fall behind in providing the modern conveniences that Cleveland Utilities, Volunteer Energy Cooperative and their public service brethren have given us for so many thankless decades.
If we do not communicate our common needs, fire protection and emergency medical services will struggle in their effectiveness thus putting our homes and families in harm’s way ... which also points to the importance of future negotiation between the Cleveland City Council and Bradley County Commission to speak from the same page when considering the future of fire protection in our city, urban fringe and rural county areas.
If we do not communicate our common needs, our excellent city and county school systems will become overcrowded, insufficiently funded and under-supplied.
Sherry Crye’s presentation to our municipal education leaders is a critical step in the right direction for continuing the quality education experience in our public schools.
The additions of Volkswagen and WACKER will have an impact on our schools.
The new Whirlpool plant that will add another 130 jobs could potentially bring in new families as well.
Volkswagen is closing in on its opening.
Wacker Chemie is set to break ground in early 2011.
Whirlpool is already moving full steam ahead with environmental planning and will hold its groundbreaking in mid-October in preparation for a production launch in early 2012.
The wheel of progress is turning.
We must move with it.
And that starts with sharing vital information.
Which is done through communication.
We thank the Chamber of Commerce for taking the first step.