Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

You Can Have It All

A story in Saturday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported that:

Former City Councilwoman JoAnn Mack said Moscow doesn't have to sacrifice its livability in favor of sprawl or development.

"Moscow can have both, but in trying to get one, we aren't going to get anything," she said. "If Moscow doesn't grow, you're going to see it die."

Keeping Moscow unique comes with a cost, she said, and people need to be able to strike a balance between growth and the character of the city.

Councilwoman Mack is exactly correct. You CAN have growth AND maintain quality of life. It's not an either/or proposition. People around here have to get out of that mindset.

As an example, over the weekend I visited Collierville, TN. Collierville was once a sleepy Southern whistlestop, but it is now a booming Memphis suburb of 42,000. Thanks in part to FedEx, the median household income is $93,000 a year.

I'm sure there are people in Collierville who bemoan its growth and change. But every effort is being made to maintain the quality of life.

Beautiful brick homes with large yards line the wide oak-bordered streets. Billboards and large signs are not allowed along main arteries. A greenbelt provides biking and walking trails.

The 150-year old historic town square has been preserved with boutique shops and restaurants surrounding Confederate Park (that name would never fly in the politically-correct Northwest). The square is the cultural heart of the town.

Less than a mile away is a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Beyond that is Target, Home Depot and a variety of strip malls. Recently, a beautiful 810,000 sq. ft. open-air shopping mall called Carriage Crossing opened. It features many high-end retailers.

Maybe it's because I didn't take a bus, but I saw no blight anywhere, only a highly livable community.

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