To the editor:
I am referring to the Sept. 2 Saturday Column concerning "Strengthening downtown is more vital than 'protecting' it."
The writer has a very good point. I am from Independence, Mo. In 1951, when I moved there, we had a drugstore on every corner, Jones Store, JC Penney's, Emery Byrd's, Kneopker's, Duvall's, several shoe stores and several clothing stores. You could buy anything you needed. The thinking in Independence was to not grow and not let any industry in that might dirty what they had.
The result was a bedroom community that, therefore, did not have the tax base it needed to support the infrastructure.
In the late '50s the Blue Ridge Mall came. People went to the mall because there were not parking meters. Instead of removing them on the Independence square, they raised the price of the meter. That really chased everyone to the mall. Now, most businesses are gone and they have empty storefronts. It is a sad demise for such a nice town.
Towns are like ponds. They need fresh water or they stagnate and die.
We need a new kind of thinking in this lovely community.