By HDN staff
The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce recently launched a year-long public image campaign called Havre ... Its the People.
The new campaign is designed to unite the community, link the chamber more closely with the community, and focus the communitys attention on positive events, people, and happenings that showcase the best Havre has to offer.
Through a process called the three Cs, communication, cooperation and commitment the chambers Board of Directors hopes to focus attention away from the negative events of recent years toward a more positive future.
The Havre ... Its the People campaign stems from responses to a survey the chamber conducted several years ago that asked the question, what do you like most about Havre?
The most common response was, Its the people.
Its a response we at the Havre Daily News agree with wholeheartedly. Havre is blessed with extraordinary people. They represent the best of the best in work ethic, loyalty, courage, perseverance, and determination. They are hard working people of faith whose sense of independence and self-reliance are becoming ever-more rare in the world today.
While we believe a positive image campaign is a plus to our community and praise the chamber for promoting Havre and its people, we would also ask the question, Wheres the beef?
We would like to see the chamber place greater energy into economic development. Havre needs dollars, not just new businesses that redistribute the dollars we already have.
As long as the chamber is patting Havre on the back for being a community of great people, what is it doing to attract industry to the community or to develop industries we already have, like the BNSF, MSU-Northern, the proposed BioGold strawboard plant, or Premium Pork of Montana.
As long as the chamber wants to increase communication with the community, maybe they need to be more forth coming with proposed projects, such as the downtown park, rather than let the rumor-mill run ramped. Have they bothered to ask the community what it thinks of the proposed park? Does the community want it? Do downtown businesses want to lose the parking?
The park is a worthwhile endeavor. It, of course, will help rejuvenate the downtown area and give travelers yet another reason to stop while driving through town on Highway 2. But no park will translate into jobs. We have to actively pursue new, technologically-based industry in order to generate economic growth.
Havre ... Its the People is a great campaign and deserves our support, but come on Havre Chamber, wheres the beef.