Bob Mitchell: Thoughts for the new year

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Those in the Fourth Estate are famous for looking into the future at the beginning of a New Year.

Instead, this time, I’m going back years to see how we might match-up to our present time. Here it goes...

Beginning the year 2019 will be something new for us. Most of the time in the past there were projects for various individuals, clubs and organizations, which quite frankly, very few paid any attention to, and consequently a lot of good things went undone, were never even attempted, or flat flunked the grind.

There is a good chance some of them might fly, since several of those in the city administration have expressed the desire to have some to help lighten the load.

And that help is right here at home; possibly, there wouldn’t even be a need to step outside the city limits.

The basic idea

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

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

The same reasoning behind ballparks have worked for years there were no delays for plans or equipment being on the ground.

Coffee talk

Maybe I learned as a young newspaper person 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, I discovered there was information that people needed to know.

Admittedly, that wasn’t always the case, but, you might be surprised how much information was obtained considering the amount of the time invested.

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 other than street projects, a direct reversal of intent from the original proposal from the city council, in the first degree.

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, and 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, those paid an advisory fee would be eliminated, and resident professionals would be doing a project for the old hometown.

I’ve got 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 my opinion, Cassville could use a good shot of innovention 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 was 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 turn-downs by local leaders, it was obvious a new stage had to be set for presenting Cassville.

At that time there were progressing business and professions with people who were ready to get pushed in 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!

Does this sound familiar?

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.