Gift of Gab with Gabriella

Sit-down restaurant(less)? I think not. I think it leaves us with a common goal and something to strive for. This situation should give us great incentive to do better and expect better. First off, we have to begin to take a bit of responsibility. We have to prove and show we are worth the costly investment it will take to bring a business like this to town. The easiest way to do this is by supporting the existing restaurants that are already here, instead of spending our money in other cities and towns.

Secondly, teach good work ethics and the value of having a job to our newest members of the work force. We all know that most fast-food establishments mainly employ our youth. Some of these people are of the mindset that their employers are lucky they even show up to clock in at all, let alone provide service with a smile and wouldn’t dare to entertain the idea of going the extra mile for possible advancement. Some simply do not care nor do they take these jobs serious because they are joining the workforce at a time that jobs are plentiful and even their role models didn’t experience the times where jobs, even unskilled fast-food positions were highly sought after. If we can’t keep the existing businesses we have now staffed with dependable employees, what would make an investor believe they would be able to keep their new business staffed? Before you get all fired up and begin accusing me of insulting your teens or young adults working at the local burger joint, notice above I said (some) not all, but, if the shoe fits, well you know the rest.

As you clearly have had to notice, investors have not been trampling over each other and beating down the doors to City Hall to apply for business licenses. These new establishments are few and far between in this questionable and uncertain economy, so what does that mean for us? It means we have to also sell ourselves and our community by doing the above things I mentioned in attempts of making our area appealing and inviting enough for established companies and investors want to invest in our city. Enough baby steps can add up to giant leaps if enough participate in the effort. This should all start in our own backyards, or in a case like this, in our own (front) yards.

Whether you’re a homeowner or you lease your home, we all need to do our part in cleaning up, sprucing up, updating when possible. Care for your lawns and yards. Especially the businesses and houses along Nameoki Road and Madison Avenue. Chipped and cracking old paint on the porches and steps and doors and around windows make the busiest routes in our city look ran down. Fresh paint and clean yards and sidewalks and plants and planters make a huge positive impact and improvement.

The appearance of “The District” has been greatly improved with TIFF monies invested in that area and it’s time for that effort to spread to Nameoki Road. From the overpass area where the old IHOP used to sit, the city is planning to update that entrance to the city and that will have a huge impact, but the effort should not stop there. This area also needs the same style planters that now line Niedringhaus Avenue, a street sweeper and the crumbling curbs repaired. The menagerie of poster style, push into the ground signs lining Nameoki Road advertising everything from insurance to close out sales, to firewood and Billy Bob’s cheap Internet (exaggeration) should be banned and those who break these rules, dealt with. 

It’s time to take advantage of our entire city, not just one area of the city. The bulk of the traffic and businesses and attractions are located on Nameoki Road. Most of the potential investors drive Nameoki Road and Route 3. It’s time to spread and share the wealth and I believe the administration has taken steps to make sure this happens. The celebrations and parades should not be exclusive to The District. Especially the parades routes and holiday decorations, these should be shared with the busiest street in the city and Nameoki Road would be wonderful for a parade route with so many available parking places and viewing areas.

I know, I know you have all heard it before, but we all really need to do our part, businesses, and residents alike to make our city as inviting as possible for growth. We are moving forward and in the right direction, but still have much work to do. Area clean-up efforts are a great start, but this problem is far more complex than just needing the litterbugs cleaned up after or anything a broom alone can accomplish. We need to make major improvements that can start with each and every household. Update the look and the attitude and opinions about the city and the sky is the limit!