Having Nice Things in Whitewater

Some months ago, a community group, while embarking on a new project, began using the saying, ‘yes, we can have nice things in Whitewater.’ One supposes that they meant the saying as an expression of optimism about their chances for success, along the lines of we can do this. It’s also probable that they intended the expression as one of desire, along the lines of we deserve this.

It was not the first time that I’ve heard this said about Whitewater, and when an account of the expression’s recent use reached me, I knew immediately whence it came.

It’s a sentiment, generally and beyond any group’s particulars, with which I very much agree: we can have, and deserve, nice things in Whitewater.

Our challenge is that nice is not a fixed quality, sealed in amber, forever unchanging. Nor is nice a thing to be decided from on-high, from a few planners and politicians. The very use of the expression is confirmation that residents will no longer settle for accepting whatever comes their way.

Sometimes nice is a simple thing, overlooked until ordinary residents voice their hopes for more, different, and better.

Look back a decade, and what does one see? Too many leaders and insiders crowing that Whitewater was the pinnacle of all the world, that change would come from them, and that to dare raise any questions about local conditions was somehow an offense against the natural order. They wanted for others little more than a lemming’s life, albeit lemmings who would smile and applaud when asked.

Time takes her toll: most of the leaders from that time have slipped from Whitewater’s public scene (some tumbling more than slipping, if the truth of it be said).

Nice things are sometimes simple, plain things, changing by definition as generations pass, unplanned from above, and decided commonly by many rather than exclusively by a few.

It’s fair to say that a grocery store would be among the plain and simple things of value to Whitewater’s consumers; it’s encouraging that residents are willing to say as much.

Update, Wednesday afternoon : There will be more to write about a new grocery when possibilities become clearer.  One can confidently guess that my own position will favor private, local transactions between businesses and shoppers without government subsidy.

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7 years ago

It has been a very long ten years. It will be interesting to see how the next five to ten unfold. Here’s something to think about – Whitewater didn’t have a blogger in 2006 but this web site is a fixture now.Well done, John!

Dr. X
7 years ago

I just don’t get how we do not have a grocery like Fort, Milton, Jefferson. Why?? Have you seen Jefferson lately? They have a grocery!!

7 years ago

I trust private enterprise will identify that Whitewater has a void and seek to fill that void with what the community seeks to have. The burden of such an enterprise is to understand the marketplace. City government should promise no more to such an enterprise than safe water, clean streets and public safety. The less City involvement, the better.

7 years ago

This city team is unsteady. They don’t know which way to turn. There should have been more mentoring before this city manager took over. One of the big stories that you have not mentioned is that city hall’s on the constant search for revenue for itself at the same time they’re throwing more costs or fees on businesses/residents. (Importing waste is completely like that. Cameron thinks he’ll make money out of it but all he will do is destroy the incentive for anyone to come here. We are already bleeding and he has no clue about a business climate. No clue at all.)

7 years ago

So they want trash to come in but we do not have a grocery store?
That’s crazy!!!