If you were asked to sell someone on Howard County, what would your pitch be? Would you focus on the willingness of others to jump in and help those around them? Perhaps you’d mention the low cost of housing, which made news recently in the Huffington Post. Maybe you’d list our growing number of jobs, the free trolley system, or other upturns that have gotten our area noticed at the state and national levels.
I hope you didn’t have any trouble with that question, as the next one is harder: Whose responsibility is it to make our community a place that is the best possible place to live? I think it’s fair to say that, if given a choice, none of us wants to live in a place that has very little to recommend it. That applies equally to current residents and those we’d like to attract.
Perhaps city or county government comes to mind first. We all benefit from walking trails, parks and flowers in public spaces. I would like to think the public library is also near the top of your list. Every service or event KHCPL offers enhances the quality of life locally. Children are more successful in school and in life if they enter kindergarten ready to read and if they read for pleasure once they learn how. People of all ages lead fuller lives when they are surrounded by opportunities for informal learning, social interaction or the basic technology many of us take for granted. I would be remiss if I omitted the economic factor. Each of us is able to stretch our personal budgets by pooling a small amount of money for shared resources, and who doesn’t benefit from wise spending?
Other local organizations are equally oriented toward quality of life. From promoting art to supporting families, I’m sure you could compile quite a list of organizations whose work centers around this concept. If you include every business or organization that has a vested interest in having our community be safe, attractive and fulfilling, the size of the pool jumps exponentially. Anyone who has ever recruited regionally or nationally to fill a position knows firsthand day-to-day amenities are critically important in attracting employees.