By Michael Morris
When I was offered the opportunity to write this article about my visions for the area, my first inclination was to write about the projects I am involved in and the benefits to the community. Then it struck me that my visions depend on the American people returning to the way we were as a nation on December 8, 1941.
On the day after Pearl Harbor, the American people did what has made this the greatest nation on earth, and that is, reach down deep and rise to solve the problem. We did not wallow in self pity or explode into the blame game of which party was wrong. We banded together as a nation and as a community to defeat a mutual threat. America once again finds itself in this position, not from a world shooting war, but from a world economic war. And make no mistake about it: big business is war on a grand scale. And also make no mistake: America is losing this war.
On December 8, 1941 it was God and Country that led us to victory, and we must once again get back to the base principles of morals and ethics, hard work and pride in our work. Most importantly, we must find leaders in the community that have the courage to bring an end to the nonsense that imposed upon the very people who are driven to succeed and make employment and a great American life possible.
My vision of this great community is very simple: if the above pieces are in place we will work, invest and buy within our community to create a self sustaining local economy. The key missing infrastructure pieces are technology, energy and transportation. I have a plan.
I am currently building the technology infrastructure that will provide business class broadband to Wayne and Pike counties. This will bring the cloud and the jobs associated with it to the local area. Education levels will have to be raised to fill the jobs for the long term. Part one is in place.
An energy infrastructure should be based on the local area as well. We, as a community, should build a renewable fuels power plant, powered by local crops turned into fuel as well as wind and solar plants. To that end, my partners and I have formed Green Community Development LLC to create community owned renewable power. The community will invest, use and reap the profits from their own power generation. Part two coming up.
Transportation is going to be the hard one. While we have a good road system, a public transportation system—mainly the train from Honesdale to NYC—needs to be put into place. It can be done, but will require every asset the area can muster both politically and financially. Is it in the works? One can only hope.
Can all of the above be done? Yes, with God’s grace and a lot of hard, back-breaking work and a community that works together. America can accomplish anything; we only need to work together.
[Michael Morris is a managing partner with Stephen Smith of Smith and Morris Holdings LLC. He has worked on infrastructure and energy projects since the 1980s.]