Date: March 2, 2014
From: Mikey O’Connor (Praag, WI)
To: Buffalo County Board
Re: Testimony OPPOSED to the Starkey request for rezone to “Industrial”
TRANSMITTED VIA EMAIL
Focus on the future: More NEW jobs, not more OLD jobs
I hope you think about the careers of Buffalo County children and deny a rezone application that will put a 19th-century style rail-loading facility in the heart of Buffalo County, focus our economy on mining, and wreck one of the best chances for Buffalo County to compete and win in the 21st century.
Much has been said about all the disadvantages Buffalo County has, and how we need the new jobs that sand mining will bring. But don’t overlook what we have going for us as we prepare our kids (and ourselves) to compete in the worldwide “Information Economy.”
- Internet Infrastructure: All of Buffalo County has reasonably fast DSL. That portion of the County served by the Nelson and Cochrane telephone cooperatives has “fiber-to-the-home” – which is the best “future proof” Internet infrastructure in the world.
- Unspoiled environment: Buffalo County is in the Driftless Area – some of the most beautiful and unique natural habitat in the world.
- Air travel: Buffalo County is within 2 hours of an international hub airport offering convenient, reliable and diverse travel options, worldwide.
There are more of these attractions (hunting, fishing, boating, etc.), but you get the point. We could focus on developing 21st Century jobs (which, like mine, can be done anywhere there’s good Internet access). We could teach our kids how to compete at a world-class level without leaving their houses, never mind leaving the county.
What do 21st century Information Economy workers want when they’re choosing a place to live and work? They want a vibrant community, beautiful places and great access to the world. We have all these and more, right now. Many county economic development officers would kill to have the “future proofing” amenities that we can offer here in Buffalo County.
Let’s focus on delivering a positive future, and opportunities for the next generation.
Please vote for 21st century jobs, not 19th century ones. Oppose the Starkey rezone.