(A few of) the people have spoken!
Congratulations are certainly in order to Marion Mayor Frank Fogleman, city leaders and supporters of their successful effort in convincing voters to refinance $16 million in bonds that will go toward a much-needed railroad overpass as well as other capital improvement projects.
Although the ballot issue passed with more than 75 percent of the vote, there were three aspects of this vote that stood out to us. First of all, Marion, with a population of just over 12,000 residents, there were just a little more than 500 registered voters who bothered to turn out. What this tells us is a sense of apathy among most Marionites who are leaving us to believe they could care less about the railroad overpass, street improvements, better fire protection or refinancing $16 million in bonds for another 30 years.
Secondly, based on the little more than the 500 voters who did take time to participate in deciding the future needs of their city it was clear there was strong feelings among those who favored refinancing the bonds for the defined projects.
Thirdly, while the opposition amounted to just a little over 100 voters, it was clear they were unified and opposed all seven improvement projects.
With that said, there is little argument to the fact that Marion’s leadership is addressing a progressive path in meeting their city’s future needs, and it is important that the citizens of Crittenden County’s second largest municipality participate.
It is disappointing that such a low number of people actually voted on these very important choices regarding the future of their city and everyone who calls Marion their home.
Nevertheless, the bonds will be extended, the overpass will become a reality, $2.3 million will be appropriated for better fire protection and improvements that will meet the city’s growth, park improvements that are a key city asset that current and future families demand as well as funding the future needs of the city’s police department.
With the projects voted upon and some of the other major developments taking place, Marion is posed to be the shinning star city of Crittenden County.
The city is clearly attracting the caliber of newcomers who recognize the importance of good governmental leadership, quality of life and amenities that include good schools, top notch community recreational facilities as well as excellent police and fire protection.
With the positive growth now occurring in Marion it will be important for local leadership from both the public and private sector come together to map out a strategic plan that will attract the attention of potential business investors that will be willing to be part of this city’s future.
With that will come the caliber of newcomers that can also play an important role in future developments.
With that said, we again applaud the current leadership for effectively putting together a solid foundation for the future.