The issue: Repository series on making change
Our view: Stark County’s old problems need new solutions
Change, according to Webster’s Dictionary: “To put or take (a thing) in place of something else; substitute for, replace with, or transfer to another of a similar kind.”
Tuesday through Sunday on our Viewpoints page, five area business and/or community leaders contributed essays about “change.” We headlined this series “Making Change: This Is Not Business As Usual.”
Did you miss one or more of the series? Read all of the essays online at CantonRep.com/change.
Tuesday: Brad Whitehead is president of the Fund for Our Economic Future — a collaboration of more than 50 philanthropic entities across 16 counties in Northeast Ohio — and wrote about the importance of philanthropy in improving our region.
Wednesday: Steve Paquette, president of the Stark Development Board, wrote about the new Stark Entrepreneurship Alliance — a partnership of several area organizations — and its goal of boosting new development and job creation in the area.
Thursday: Amy Shriver Dreussi, Ph.D, co-president of the Canton Area League of Women Voters and an associate professor of social science at the University of Akron, wrote about the importance of a new redistricting process for Ohio.
Friday: Randy Cole, president of the Ohio Controlling Board, wrote about how schools and local governments can save money by sharing resources.
Saturday: Mark Samolczyk, president of the Stark Community Foundation, wrote about that organization celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. The foundation, which provides grants for economic development, education, neighborhood revitalization and more in Stark County, collected a record $16.4 million in donations in 2012.
With just two days left, this is a good time to reflect on 2012. There was plenty of good, but what should have been different in Stark County and Ohio?
Politics? Many are upset that Stark County has been carved into three different congressional districts, for no better reason than to create easy wins for incumbents. Dreussi wrote about the need for a new system — and something better than the cockeyed mess that statewide voters wisely dismissed in November.
Taxes? Cole wrote about how the city of Tallmadge in Summit County has saved millions by partnering with neighboring communities on key services. Meanwhile, in Stark County we have four (FOUR!) health departments.
The economy? Whitehead, Paquette and Samolczyk each wrote about how to stimulate more growth in our area by attracting new businesses and finding ways to invest in the businesses already here.
Page 2 of 2 - Yes, there were problems everywhere we looked in 2012. Only through real change — different approaches to our complex issues — can we make strides in 2013.
“The old solutions no longer work,” Cole wrote.
Indeed. We challenge Stark County residents to consider these essays, and how they individually can contribute to systemic change. Maybe by this time next year, we can solicit essays about all of the positive change that came about in 2013.
What a fine year that would be.