Bob Mitchell: Cassville could use a good shot of innovation

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

This being a brand new year for Cassville, it has so far been a complete success by getting this column named in the correct year, on the first try.

The year 2015 will bring new projects for most of us. In the past, there were projects for various individuals, clubs and organizations, which very few paid any attention to. Consequently, a lot of good things went undone, were never attempted, or just flat out flunked.

There is a good chance some projects might fly now, since some of those involved in the city administration have expressed the desire to have some help with certain projects. And that help could possibly be found right here without stepping outside the city limits.

The basic

The crux of the idea is to use the expertise of those who have retired here from the business industry serve as a corps of experts. They can handle some of the complex problems that will hit us in the future, and that would normally cost big bucks on contracts or fees. Some could do what is needed on a reduced scale or volunteer job for his or her community.

This idea wouldn't be entirely new for Cassville, since it has been tried before. A couple of bridges have been built over Flat Creek on good advice from an advisor who will compete any day with an engineered structure.

The same reasoning behind ballparks has worked for years. There were no delays for plans or equipment being on the ground. An exception would be tax-based projects that must be publicly bid.

Coffee talk

Maybe I learned as a young journalist that certain coffee breaks could supply reliable news breaks. When some of the scuttlebutt was drained off, there was more than rumor buried deep in the conversation. Consequently, there was information that people needed to know.

One idea

Brought forward not too long ago was the possibility of some city officials wanting to use "only a small portion" of the recently-passed transportation tax on things other than street projects, which is a direct reversal of its intent from the original proposal from the city council.

Further discussion on the subject brought out other significant projects which might come before Cassville in the immediate future that could present the same set of requirements, but not be in the best interest of a majority of us paying the sales tax -- regardless how many people visit our town or places of business.

This possibility was fostered by some who have done paving projects in their past. They say the program will work, with the right people, to the best interest of the people. Wherever possible, and with the right folks in place, people paid an advisory fee would be eliminated, and professionals would be residents here who could be doing a project for their hometown.

I have an idea that if the personnel is available -- and many think it is -- this could be one of most worthwhile projects that could be at least investigated by the city. Think of the projects over the years that have been "jake lagged engineered" and you might get some idea of how people might like to get their hands back in a project and help their town at the same time.


Frankly, in many opinions, Cassville could use a good shot of innovation right now to boost her into this New Year. One where all the tools are available, they are simply lying around waiting for someone who knows how to use them. Picking them up and doing what each was designed to do can either accomplish the job or go a long way toward its completion.

In all probability, the days of major projects -- which we've attracted in the past -- might not come knocking on our door immediately. But bait fish attract lunkers, and that's what we're after eventually.

Years ago, we unfortunately found people in our midst who wanted no more payrolls since they were content to pay their employees on a low hourly or weekly scale. Cassville was a good place to live, but not at a low wage. After a couple of turndowns by local leaders, it was obvious a new stage had to be set for presenting Cassville.

At that time, there were progressing business and professional people who were ready to get pushed into position of getting something done. Once the ball started rolling for us, it didn't stop for a number of years.

Sure, recent downturns have taken some of the frosting away, but remember, some of the foundations are in place and would like to have their part of this town active once again.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.