We need to be ‘community of excellence’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 28, 2002

Alabama will be home to Hyundai, but what will that mean to us in Pike County?

Quite likely, quite a bit.

Because of our proximity to Hope Hull, where the assembly plant will be located, Pike County is high on the list of potential sites for Hyundai suppliers.

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Add in our workforce, our quality of life, our available resources and our access to transportation, along with any number of intangible assets, and our community becomes even more attractive to potential suppliers.

That’s what community leaders hope to convey during a "trial run" with Gov. Don Siegelman this week. It’s a chance to make our case with a group of Alabama officials who are making notes on the strengths and weaknesses of communities around the state.

And, we all remember the adage about first impressions

That’s why it’s critical that we make a stellar first impression ­ both on the governor and, more important, on the Team Alabama members who’ll be taking notes on Troy.

And no matter how well scripted, how thoroughly planned, how entertaining our visit is, much of that first impression will depend on what these leaders see ­ from manicured rights of way along city and county roads to neat and attractive houses and businesses.

They’ll remember if our community is neat and attractive; if our roadsides and parking lots are free of clutter and litter; if we take pride in our town and how it looks; if our clerks and business owners alike are helpful and hospitable; if we appear to be a "Community of Excellence."

In short, they’ll take much more home than just those notes scribbled on a piece of paper.

And we want them to take home an impression that Troy and Pike County are communities of excellence.

So look around this week

at your home, at your business, at the roadside and offer to pitch in and spruce up. Take a deep breath and put that smile back on your face before you greet that next customer who’s calling. And take a little well-deserved pride in your town and your community.

If we recognize and appreciate our hometown as a "community of excellence," others will as well.


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