Editorial: Reversing painful trends

May. 31, 2014 @ 11:30 PM

When the grandstands have finished emptying, the actions won’t matter. Better to find the end game now by being constructive than to be left later with hollowness impossible to fill.

In the heart of downtown Henderson is a hole. We’ll even agree there are two. One will soon be filled by McGregor Hall, a brilliant final addition to Breckenridge Commons.

It won’t, however, be the last element. There’s much more, and it involves all of our varied leadership bodies and us.

Many years ago, today’s table began getting set. Places have been added, and the setting continues to get additional touches. But our plates remain empty.

Consider:

• We’ve seen two boards convene jointly, for schools and the county, with a suggestion to make it regular. Since then, our schools were found to be graduating nearly 20 percent below the state norm and a highly publicized school security upgrade was fiscally approved but never implemented. Those boards haven’t met jointly since, and commissioners, who help fund schools, haven’t demanded answers or actions.

• A summit on education last fall included a plan to meet again in the spring. It’s June, and we haven’t heard of a date.

• As McGregor Hall is beginning to rise, the city’s governing body is prepared to do away with the Main Street Program. Downtown development hasn’t had a shot in the arm like McGregor can provide in decades. The decision should be challenged.

• At its 2009 official launch, Triangle North was (and still is) hailed as ahead of the curve for a business model. Not a single campus in the quartet has a tenant, but there has been industrial growth in some of the counties. Everybody is still getting theirs but jointly through the ballyhooed project — not so much.

The examples can continue, but the point is made. We must unite to take care of ourselves. The finger pointing — and there, quietly, is plenty — is nothing more than idle hands in the devil’s workshop.

By committee or by full joint activity, Henderson and Vance County must agree on and move toward a vision in the future. And it must do so on agreed principles and concepts yielding benefit to us all.