To The Sun:
As a recent returnee of five months (previous residency 1979-1986), we were pleased to discover a new attitude regarding how the community looks to visitors and residents. The citizens of Parsons and local government are to be complimented for their working together to remove unsightly trash from around homes and the regular demolition of boarded up, uninhabitable houses. Having spent more than 40 years in industrial/community development, I stated hundreds of times the importance of “eye appeal” to people coming to a community. It is especially important when employers are in search for a place to expand or locate new manufacturing facilities. The management of manufacturing, commercial and retail firms must ask themselves these questions: Will my management team be willing to move to Parsons? Will I be able to attract new employees in addition to those already in the local labor pool?
If the answers to the above questions are no, then no matter how much we offer them in free inducements, they will not select our community. That is why we as citizens must think like a retailer. It is critical a retailer has attractively displayed products for sale, so the customer wants to come in and buy. It is no different when selling a community. We must be attractively displayed. The economic/community development professionals and elected leaders working for Parsons are doing a great job at selling our community. With just a little effort, we citizens can be a part of that selling process and not even realize we are part of the team.
We are blessed in Parsons with having a diversified employment base. Our employers are adding jobs, and those new jobs will be putting increased pressure on the need for additional quality housing. If we do our part in making our homes look attractive, some of those new people may consider building a new home in an existing neighborhood, thus making the area even more attractive.
My wife and I are so glad to be back in Parsons. Working together we can grow once again to the population size of pre-tornado and beyond. — JIM DAHMEN, Parsons