Why We Can’t Have Nice Things



I was going to write this maybe 5 or 6 times this past month but I stopped.  I guess today was the day.

I have put on many an event in Carleton Place since the 80’s and know how hard it is to get the community involved. One only has to look at our fabulous Farmer’s Market and wonder why more of our local population does not make an effort to come out each week. How about our local restaurants having to count on outside customers because they can’t survive with the business from the local population? What about a local reporter getting major grief from a few townsfolk because she wrote about new business the town needs? You think these things don’t go on here? They do every single day, and you need a thick skin, dedication, and a great sense of humor to put on anything here.

Decline in small towns began when rural communities did not recognize change with the retail-shopping trend towards urban malls. They were devastated when the retail eruption left them without customers and not enough time to fight back. To survive now, we need new approaches, trends, and changes to bring people to town. When you can’t look outside of the box, or fight organizers every inch of the way with lack of support, we might as well go back to being just a collection of gas stations, banks, and churches surrounding the school, post office, and city hall.

Without economic opportunity, the most charming town in the world can’t attract permanent residents or business. I don’t know how many times I can stress that we need to support our local events and new ideas that some take the effort and money to put forth. When you have people arguing on both sides of the spectrum and some cowering in the middle, how on earth do you expect to make a town successful.

Small towns are what made this country great, and right now people need to stop acting and thinking small. We need real results by hands on support– not just warm and fuzzy feelings. Let’s not become a monoculture. Healthy systems need healthy diversity. Let’s support the new ideas that bubble up to benefit the town without arguing for a change and see where it takes us. You just might be pleasantly surprised!


About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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