UPDATED: City Leaders, Economic Development, & South Cape

Today, a colleague asked if I have read the article in the Southeast Missourian about south Cape.  I found two things equally infuriating when I read “City officials, neighborhood leaders look to improve south Cape, but when and how?” The premise of the article rests on areas of concern in south Cape including parks, housing, education, and crime, and the solutions-oriented debate about “how to do it and what should happen first.”

First, the idea of when and how. In general, Cape Girardeau is covered by TWO economic development plans. The 20 year City of Cape Girardeau Comprehensive Plan was set forth in 2007 and identified needs of recreation, transportation linkages, walkability, jobs centers, and affordable housing stock. The second economic development plan is the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) created in 2013. Among its five-year goals are affordable housing, and “access to health care, improved recreational opportunities, and quality education facilities.” In our area, we also have a Downtown Comprehensive Plan under the DREAM Initiative and a Neighborhood Development Initiative (NDI).

Although the plans are all separate and were created by different entities, they all in some way cover or touch the area known as south Cape. According to the site Nextdoor, the south Cape boundaries appear to be Independence to Southern Expressway (crossing over 74) and East/West Minnesota to Spanish.

Second, the phrase “we are kind of looking for leaders to emerge…” quoted in the Southeast Missourian article. The City of Cape Girardeau Comprehensive Plan was put forth in a collaborative effort between the Mayor, the Council members, plan steering committee, the Planning Commission, City officials, and Arcturis Architecture and Design. Page 1 of the City of Cape plan shows the names of leaders who came forward to help. Page 105 shows the public engagement process that included a community survey, focus groups, workshops, and stakeholder and city staff interviews. The six focus group sessions (including a Southside group) contained 6-10 members identified in distinct areas (pg 118).  In addition, Arcturis identified 23 stakeholders “In order to improve the comprehensive planning process and heighten the likelihood of implementation” of the plan, and an oversight committee was created to govern the plan. You can see the names of those individuals here.

The CEDS was created by Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission (SEMO RPC). The CEDS committee was comprised of SEMO RPC members throughout the planning district. You can see the names of the individuals and the planning process involved in Southeast Missouri on page 125 of the CEDS plan.  All of the plans were reliant on community stakeholders and public input.

As a side note, in June our city council authorized $80,000 in funds for Teska Associates, Inc. to update our City of Cape Comprehensive Plan.  There was also $50,000 in funds authorized last year for a Downtown Cape Comprehensive Plan.  In the Southeast Missourian article, we are told that “city and community leaders have traveled to Atlanta twice since 2016” to learn about Purpose Built redevelopment.

We have spent money and time identifying the needs of the community. We have identified the city and civic leaders, community members, and organizations that can help with the effort.  Mayor Rediger says that city officials can’t be the “quarterback”  and that they hope to have leaders come forward by the end of the year. My question is why we are not looking within the plans we have developed and contacting the individuals who took the time to come forward and identify the problems. At the very least we should be relying on the oversight committee for the comprehensive plan – especially considering it is in re-write at this moment.

In my next post on this topic, I will discuss the issue of housing. There are many examples of how housing goals are achieved in ways other than philanthropy.

 

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I Finished My Work at 8a, What are You Doing?

By 8a this morning I had met my reading goal, completed a section of my online class, fit in a short workout, met my daily writing goal, and enjoyed a lovely smoked gouda and sausage breakfast casserole. And now I am writing you this post. I have the rest of the day to complete chores, work on other parts of my business, and cook dinner to enjoy with my fiance.

Of course, the thing not immediately seen in my account of my morning is the preparation involved. I was up early because I began my nightly wind down at 9p – shutting off devices, prepping my coffee, and quieting my mind. I have spent countless hours attempting to understand what activities will prepare me to be the best writer I can be, and countless more working out a schedule that mimics the flow of my energy.  I also make breakfast casseroles and lunches on Sundays and group together my clothes for the week.

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Since I embarked on the life of a small business owner, I have come to understand some days will be like this, but many will not. It is important to seize upon those moments that can help you advance your goals whenever they present themselves. For me, preparation has been an essential component in helping me meet the demands of the self-employed lifestyle. This includes a weekly schedule, pre-preparing a menu, a workflow schedule, project management software, and daily reading and writing goals.

Do you have any tips to share?

You Go Girl

Image Credit:  fixthis.tumblr.com

Image Credit: fixthis.tumblr.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to make a comment on the recent upsurge in the feminism movement that is probably not going to sit well with many.

I understand the feminism movement. I was raised to be a strong, intelligent and financially independent woman. I don’t think there is anything wrong with women doctors, CEO’s, engineers, or techies. I think all these things are wonderful. But why do we have to specifically mention that they are women?

It seems to me that all the new publicity around “women” CEO’s and tech start-ups is media soaked propaganda. It is juicy and “politically correct” and draws readers in droves.

Here is a novel idea: Education should start at home. ALL children should be reading and participating in their education.  When they express interest in something they should be told to do some research.  Look. It. Up.  I feel that we take ownership for things in life when we are required to do the work.

They ask about Condoleezza Rice, Marie Curie, and Margaret Thatcher and WE as a society remind them those are women. This has the implicit underpinnings of “yes, they did good work for a woman”.  Figures in politics or science should be regarded as role models or pioneers or whatever, regardless of gender.  No one talks about “the first man” in politics or science as “the first man”.  They are heralded strictly for their accomplishments not their accomplishments-in-light-of-gender.

By making a big deal out of gender, aren’t we in essence launching a platform of discouragement? It’s like saying,  yes you can be a scientist, but it will be more difficult for you because you have a vagina. Will it be more difficult? Perhaps.  But shouldn’t that be up to the young lady to decide on her own, rather than discouraging her from jump?

If a young lady says she wants to be an engineer, why do we have to specify that she can be a woman in engineering?  The specificity in this statement is ridiculous.  It creates and further defines the notion that it is an anomaly. It’s like a condescending pat on the head. It also short changes the young lady and her accomplishments.  If women are truly to break through the barriers of male dominated industries we have to stop quantifying the issue and start looking at it for what it is.  We, as women can do anything we want.  It is society that has manufactured, and continued to perpetuate, the ideology that we cannot.