Jackson on growth hormones?

Jackson circa 1970s (Cliff Schandler FB)
Jackson circa 1970s (Cliff Schandler FB)

The question we get asked most often is: Are we anti-growth?

Well, the politically correct answer is no. We support “sound” development that preserves the Old West feel and healthy community Jackson has always been. Moreover, we should pursue a sustainable economy that is not dependent on growth. Lastly, we prefer to live in harmony with nature rather than dominating it with bulldozers and fencing wildlife out of places we think it doesn’t belong.

Growth for growth’s sake is what we are against.

Big cities don’t get that way by local government deciding they want concrete, steel and skyscraper, along with the crime and overcrowding that comes with it. Big cities spring into being one inconspicuous decision at a time. Civic leaders promote commercial development in the interest of job creation. More jobs require more population. More population demands things like more amenities and institutional growth.

And away we go.

The new 2016 Annual Indicator Report is out. Most of the 2015 trends are hardly a surprise. Jobs are being created faster than housing can be built. They are being filled by people who don’t live here. Those people have to travel—vehicle miles are up significantly.

We at SHJH are pleased town and county leaders are at least gathering and reporting data on growth. For too many years they admitted it would be a good idea to have some solid metrics but simply didn’t have the time to compile the data. These reports are important. If we are creating too many jobs too quickly. Let’s stop or slow that down before we simply react to that finding by building our way out of trouble.

Growing smart means growing slowly. Growing slowly means saying no to some things.