This past May I wrote about how the Springfield Finance Control Board had hired MassINC and the Urban Issues Institute to begin to explore how to develop Springfield economically. Apparently the groups are ready to start getting input from Springfield's residents and to that end, will be holding the first public forum this Thursday at 6:30 pm. at Central High School.
How much rosier economic conditions from last May seem than from our current October viewpoint! Of course the economy was already in deep trouble-- housing prices had started to fall in 2006-- but most of us had no idea of the extraordinary austerity that was about to be forced upon us. Some of us still don't get it.
Now more than ever longterm economic planning for Springfield has to take place and as many people as possible have to be involved in it-- besides the benefit of all that creativity, it's the only way residents can be invested in the solutions. Maybe a few short-term options are off the table for the moment, but so what? I don't think most people are willing to throw up their hands and say no solution is possible. If you really believe that, and you've got the resources to do it, get out of Springfield.
Key question What is it that will retain current residents, increase their productivity and contributions, and attract new skilled residents?
Photo from Asmey145's photostream at Flickr.