My hometown is dying. People often ask me if I will return to Concordia after college graduation to raise my family. My answer is absolutely NO. Why am I so definitive in my choice? Why would I choose to live in a community where people refuse to work together to ensure a flourishing city? How can a community ask me to return, when they continually destroy all chances of economic growth? Young people leave Concordia to further their education, to grow, and to improve their future lives.
The recent vote in Concordia shows me that Concordia doesn’t want its high school graduates to return. By voting “no” to a new hospital, the city of Concordia is denying its residents the opportunity for prosperity. Voting “no” tells potential Concordians and potential returnees: we are closed minded, we are backward, we are obsolete. We are willing to do nothing to continue this town’s life. Voting "no" screams that Concordia is okay with becoming a ghost town. When you lose health care, you lose residents. When you lose residents, you lose business. When you lose business, your town dies.
Not only is the "no" vote a sign of decline, but it is also indicative that Concordians don't mind giving their hard-earned money to other communities. Because of the poor health care facilities in Cloud County, people will now more than ever seek health care in Beloit, Belleville, and Salina. When people go to these other communities they will also spend money on food and lodging. The "no" vote will build other communities while letting Concordia deteriorate.
I was raised to reach my full potential. I was raised to blaze a trail, to leave a legacy, and to be remembered for something substantial. Again, I cry out to the people of Concordia, why are you accepting less than your best? The vote for a new hospital has been rejected, and the people's voice has been heard. Concordia is perfectly content with being inferior. I expected more from the place where I grew up. The people of Concordia and Cloud County need to take a step back. Stop looking for the negatives in everything and start working together to make Concordia a truly great place to live. If the attitude of Concordians doesn't change soon, I might no longer have a hometown.
2011 Concordia High School Graduate