As Anniston transitions to the next phase of its strategic planning mission tonight, it’s important to stay focused on the city’s big three needs: Schools, economic development and public safety.
Schools play an integral role in a city’s growth. Good schools produce a skilled workforce. Good schools attract homebuyers with school-age children. Sadly, the opposite results in disaster, as Anniston understands. Bad schools don’t prepare students to excellence. Bad schools drive away residents and repel businesses.
Economic development brings jobs that pay good wages and create community stability. These factors, in turn, can reduce a city’s crime rate.
As we’ve noted before, it’s all connected. Fixing these priorities isn’t easy. None of the above can be accomplished in a matter of weeks.
Turning around the city will require sustained effort. We’d stress that a crucial first step is embracing reality.
No one should wallow in the misery that Anniston’s public schools have a low graduation rate or that the city’s crime rate is too high or that industries aren’t knocking down our door to locate here.
The point is to take the right steps, ones that lead to corrections to our problems.
From 6 until 8 tonight at the Anniston City Meeting Center, residents are asked to bring their suggestions for how to implement our community’s top priorities. We hope the ideas are stellar, and that they will put Anniston on a fast-paced course of action.