Treasure what we have here
Treasure what we have here
Would you move to Jackson-Madison County? I mean, if you didn’t already live here.
I know what is going through your mind. You are thinking of reasons you wouldn’t move here: crime, school system problems, good-old-boy politics, etc. You also might be thinking of other places, even locally, where you would move, maybe Medina or Humboldt where you believe those problems don’t exist.
Every community has problems that tend to stand out in the minds of people who live there. Welcome to the real world. I don’t know why we gravitate to the negative, maybe it’s just human nature.
But what if you lived in New York or Texas and were thinking of relocating, or maybe you found a job opportunity in this area that you wanted to pursue? What if a friend who lived somewhere else asked if he or she should move here? What would you say about your community? How would you "sell" it to them?
I started thinking about this after I read the recent news story that Jackson was one of the top business locations in the nation among cities its size, according to Site Selection Magazine. We should be proud of that. There are plenty of reasons Jackson-Madison County is a good potential business location. And the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce and community leaders do a good job of selling our community to business and industry. But what about selling it to potential residents?
If I was asked to sell Jackson to people thinking of moving here, here are some things I would talk about.
- It is a great place to raise a family. There are lots of community and church-related activities that are easily accessible.
- It is convenient to get to and from, including air service and I-40. There is little traffic compared to big cities, so you don’t spend half your life in your car.
- We have one of the top 10 health care systems in the country, in case you get sick.
- You can buy at least twice the home here that your money would buy in a big city, several times more if you are coming from the West Coast or the Northeast.
- Property taxes are low. This is a two-edged sword because the low taxes also play into some of the community’s shortcomings. Still, they are a fraction of what people pay in most places.
- Shopping is a breeze. Everything you need and almost every retail store known to man is available locally.
- You are close to two big cities if you want to enjoy what they have to offer.
- You are close to major recreation areas, including lakes, the Tennessee River and world-class hunting and fishing areas.
- Jackson is a haven for sports activities with all levels of play in football, basketball, baseball, golf and soccer. It has outstanding facilities in every category.
- Jackson is home to several colleges and universities.
- The city has access to cutting-edge, fiber to the home Internet service few cities in the nation can offer.
- The city and surrounding areas offer considerable history.
- Jackson has thriving art and music communities and a significant music history with the blues, rockabilly and rock and roll.
- Compared to many parts of the country, the weather in Jackson is mild and pleasant most of the year, which is conducive to many outdoor activities.
- The place has a certain amount of Southern charm and, as long as you stay away from politics, people are friendly, helpful and giving.
Jackson is the sixth city I have lived in, and I have spent considerable time in several others. I have traveled to many other cities in all parts of the country and Canada, and I have enjoyed visiting them, some more than once because they were so inviting. Some have been better at this or that. But no place I have lived or visited has offered the combination of factors, lifestyle, economics and environment that Jackson has afforded me and my family.
No city is perfect. But Jackson ranks high in so many areas as a place to live, raise a family and be involved in community activities, that I wouldn’t hesitate to sell it to potential newcomers with an unequivocal thumbs up.
Tom Bohs is The Jackson Sun’s editorial page editor. Call him at 425-9686, or e-mail to email@example.com.
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