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Community Themes

1. “We’re all common people.” Residents identified their community as one for working people. Born of agriculture and timber milling and factory work, people have prided themselves on their work ethic and in having a good community for raising kids. Everyone is aware that this heritage is changing rapidly.

“The older generation is dying off. Used to meet at the Depot. Y o u n g e r f o l k s a r e n t i n t e r e s t e d i n c o n n e c t i n g w i t h o t h e r s . T h e y r e a l in a big hurry.” l

2. “Things take a long time to happen.”

“Change is one of the things that people have difficulty with. The swimming pool and the library both took almost 15 years to build.”

  • 3.

    “Everybody points to Salem.” [for products, jobs, and services]

  • 4.

    “The whole area is going to change.” Residential development. the Cascade

Scenic Railway, the new Art Gallery, The Brown House, and the Oregon Garden are evidence.

5. “This is a community that is fragmented.” Each subgroup seems unaware that others exist. There is no “worldview” that has united perspectives and activities across subgroups. Social segments are highly committed and sometimes effective but remain unintegrated, limiting the community in its ability to manage growth and change.

“Leaders don’t have a vision for the community. They seem unwilling or unable to network for the greater good of the community.”

“The pool was a source of pride when it was first built. It took a lot of money, but since then there has not been good maintenance. People lose interest. Same with the library.”

“The Mexican businesses don’t join the Chamber.”

A JKA Report


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