Ruin your town in 8 easy steps

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2003

We came across an interesting article recently called &uot;Eight Ways to Ruin Your Town,&uot; written by Jeff Eckhoff, executive director of the Minnehaha (Minn.) and Lincoln County (S.D.) Economic Development Association.

With its references to negativity and apathy, it could just as easily have been written about our community and we thought it worth passing on.

Want to ruin your community? Here’s how to do it in eight easy steps:

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1. Stay away from town meetings and be sure to criticize the &uot;they&uot; run things. You don’t have to be there to know that somebody else is not doing it right.

2. Complain bitterly about the climate. Dwell on the cold winters and the hot summers and generally tough conditions for people living here. Let the world know that this is the last place anybody would want to live and work.

3. Knock your city government. Spread the word about the stupidity of your elected officials. After all, they’re just out to get you anyway.

4. Don’t buy anything locally. Use discount stores in nearby cities and direct mail catalogs for all your purchases. It’s a lot more important to save a buck than to save a local merchant.

5. Snipe at the local paper. Tell anyone who will listen that those media people are just no good; they never print any of the new you want to read.

6. Boycott community events. Tell yourself and everyone else that it’s not you job to show up for ballgames and school programs. Who really cares if anybody participates in those things?

7. Be more negative. Everybody knows that all kids are delinquents, all businesspeople are crooks and all public officials are just looking out for themselves. Try to get in as many bad remarks about the town as possible.

8. Be skeptical, cynical and critical about anything designed for the community’s progress and betterment and do it as loudly as possible. Blame &uot;progress&uot; for every difficult economic development for changing things from the way they were in the &uot;good old days.&uot; And disagree with anything that makes things different in your town.

As for number 5, sniping at the paper, that’s fine with us. Our feelings may get hurt, but if it’s constructive criticism and something we can correct, we’re happy to hear it.