Ellis Island is federally owned and located in New York Harbor. It is mind-boggling that the estimated number of 12,000,000, yes, 12 million people from all over the world, passed through there to find a home in the United States. It was the United States’ largest immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954.
We have all read stories of why so many people completed such a task as immigration. Folks came from different races and backgrounds to escape oppression, violence, religion and countless other reasons, to have a better place to call home.
Let’s bring that question to our community. Why would folks choose to move to Highland County? Of all the 88 counties in Ohio, why choose Highland? Is it because of our schools, our industry, job change, family or the people here?
My whole life I have heard (and probably been involved in) conversations starting with “What we need here is…” At one time it was a Bob Evans Restaurant. Or what if we only had a Kmart, a shopping center, one of the many fast food places we now have?
When I was in high school, I recall when McDonald’s came to town and how awesome that was. It was also asked, why in the world did they build it so far out of town? Or better yet, when Frisch’s opened and they had curb service. Does everyone even remember what that is?
Highland County is my home and I have no plans of ever moving out. But I think we all must ask ourselves: Do we have what is needed to attract anyone to move here? If we don’t, what would it take? Do we have the workforce here to support growth in business? Those answers are far above my pay grade. Our county and city officials are much more qualified than me to answer these questions.
In the early ’80s I remember our former mayor making trips to Japan to encourage and promote Hillsboro for a factory looking to expand to the U.S. That mayor was Betty Bishop and she just happens to be my favorite mother-in-law of all time. Yes, she has been the only one I have had, but it makes me look good when I say it. I am sure that some may have asked why she made those trips. The reality is, some 40 years later we see those trips were well worth it. I know folks that started day one working there and still are there today. It has supplied jobs and income not only for the city but for the county.
It’s that time of year when we all get a do-over. We ask ourselves how we can improve this year over last. This can be done by setting new goals, resolutions, or whatever we would like to change.
What can we, as individuals, do to better serve the community where we live? What can we do to keep the housing market strong and to keep property values going up? What can we do to attract industry, to encourage and support expansion all local businesses? Or better yet, what can we do to make folks want to live here and not somewhere else?
You tell me?
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.