Campaigning to improve county

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Although it can be easy to take Shelby County’s state and national leadership for granted these days, this county didn’t become great through chance or through a fluke. Shelby County’s vaunted position came about because of great people who love this county and pushed hard for it to serve its citizens well and become a better place to live.

Even now that Shelby County is often counted as one of the state’s best places to live, the people who have a vested interest in the county’s future must keep pushing. Simply being complacent isn’t good enough around here.

The Shelby One campaign, launched by the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Aug. 29, is an example of good people pushing the county to be better. The campaign seeks to raise $1.7 million over the next five years to fund goals such as business support and development, government relations and county marketing and communications.

The beauty of the campaign is in its specificity. The $1.7 million fundraising goal has already been broken into dollar amounts earmarked for each campaign goal — $395,000 to help support existing businesses; $730,000 to work with elected officials, business leaders and college officials to ensure the success of the county’s workforce; $325,000 to work with local governments to support transportation, education and business recruitment; and $250,000 to market Shelby County as a whole.

Since Chamber and county supporters know what the money will be spent on, it should make it simpler to lay out a plan and show potential contributors exactly what they’ll be investing in.

During the kickoff Aug. 29, Paul Rodgers, the Shelby One campaign chairman, hit the nail on the head: “We’ve got a lot of good things in Shelby County, but we’ve got a lot more to do. Shelby One is certainly an ambitious program for the Shelby County area.”

Ambitious is what we need. Ambitious programs will push Shelby County to be even better for its citizens and its future.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.