There is strength in not putting up or shutting up
I was happy to see that Bev Reynolds and her supporters responded t last week's blast from Mayor John McCarty to her question as to whether the entire business' community wound benefit from Historic Nauvoo being named Western Illinois' "Wonder."
The mayor did a very effective job of expounding on the finanacial bonanza to Nauvoo should it have wond the title. But, does this replace the loss of Nauvoo Cheese Company and St. Mary's Academy to the residents of the area? Hardly.
Suggesting that the citizens "put up or shut up" sends a chilling message to all who value the last remaining right most of the over-taxed residents have, namely to complain in publicly and to ask for a redress of grievances.
Many times when I'm up half the night finishing off an issue because our small circulation warrants little paid help, I wonder if it's really worth it to try and keep a public forum alive. Then I remember that it was just a few doors up the street where the Mayor Joseph Smith gave the order to have the press of the The Expositor smashed so that dissident Mormons in his administration couldn't put their grievances out in the open for the whole town to know.
Realtor Wayne Marting was quoted in a recent Journal-Pilot real estate special section as saying that nine out of every 10 properties sold in Nauvoo in the past five years have gone to a Mormon. We don't really need a CNN projection to tell us what will be the demographics of the Nauvoo community in 20 years. Here's what I think:
There will be be a fairly large number of financially well-off retired Mormons served by Mormon Church-owned corporate entities employing young Mormon workers living in substandard housing (unless the Nauvoo Council has purchased a large track of land and secured Illinois grants for new and rehab housing) in and around Nauvoo. The children will attend a reorganized high school in Hamilton.
And the non Mormons will be residing in West Point, Basco, Elvaston---if these people haven't given up on living in Hancock County because they were forced out due to high property taxes in Nauvoo. But, in 20 years the property taxes will have rebounded to more realistic levels, following the downward spiral of Nauvoo sales of real estate after the non Mormons all left.
Does it have to be this picture? I don't know. It depends a lot on the strength of those who choose to live in Nauvoo despite the aggravations.
My guess is that Nauvoo polis (sic) [populace?] will need a newspaper at this time more that ever because this town will really be a hot house that needs to vent safely.
It's always better to work policy out through the forum of public opinion rather than with lawsuits or guns.