The city’s planned purchase of a warehouse, municipal elections, Tanglefoot Trail, Okolona’s new school board and rising sales taxes and falling unemployment are just a few of the headlines we saw last month.
So let’s take a look at where we are headed and what might happen in 2013.
I believe this will be the year we see a new factory come to Chickasaw County or at least a major expansion at an existing industry.
The City of Houston has taken a nice first step to purchase the old Shannon Furniture factory. There is work to be done on this building, but the investment will benefit local industry and pave the way for something else.
I don’t think the average Joe realizes how hard it is to land a new factory. The economic development landscape has changed drastically. The competition is fierce and demands our very best effort.
We need to push harder for better highways on this side of the county. Houston has to upgrade its industrial park and quite frankly I think Okolona is probably the best candidate for a new factory than any community in Chickasaw County.
Please remember that what benefits one town in this county, benefits every town in this county.
The prospect of an existing industry expanding with a new product or stepping up production is a lot more probable.
For the past six months we have heard rumors of a furniture factory in Chickasaw County seeking to add 100 jobs. Maybe the spring of 2013 is the season everyone signs on the dotted line and makes something happen.
Okolona, Houston, Houlka and even Woodland will hold municipal elections this year.
Those who feel they have been led in the proper direction should support those currently in office. Those looking for something new should consider a new candidate or show their courage and run for city council.
I am always amazed at how people change once they are elected to public office and learn the ropes of municipal government. Six month into their term the new bosses are typically part of the status quo.
The key to any city board is all aldermen coming together to make things happen. I can’t say I have ever seen one alderman – or mayor — in 25 years of covering city government exclusively run the show.
Good politicians find areas where they agree and form alliances with those who want to move in a specific direction. It is the way local boards and councils are supposed to work.
There are communities in Chickasaw County that need to change. There are people in those towns who want to see change. It will be interesting to see if there are significant changes to city boards in 2013.
Tanglefoot Trail etc.
It’s the fun we had in 2012 that we remember the most. That will hold true for 2013.
This will probably be a down year for our Houston football team after last year’s romp through the playoffs. We expect the Lady Hilltopper softball team will do well this spring. The basketball Toppers have two guys scoring in high double figures and I think they will be a contender when tournament time rolls around.
We will soon start work on the Spring Flywheel Festival, then there is the July 4 Homecoming and the fall flywheel festival. Houston throws a swell party. Okolona has plans for a Spring Fling this year and we hope that goes over well.
The first phase of Tanglefoot Trail will be completed this spring and it will bring something very nice to Houlka, Houston and all of Chickasaw County.
Now is everything rosy and fine in Chickasaw County? No. But Houston, Okolona, Houlka and Woodland have a lot to offer and good people who want to see things happen.
Those are my predictions. Let’s see what kind of news we make in 2013.