Once upon a time there was a quaint little village in the land of milk and cookies. The little town was known as the City of Trees and had lots of original buildings with little shops and businesses. Times were good and everyone came to town on Friday nights and supported the little shopkeepers.
But then, as time went by, the townspeople went to the big cities to spend. Some of the innkeepers went out of business because they stopped coming in to eat and drink. Others grew old and wanted to retire and sell their buildings. But no one wanted the little stores. Then the big box stores moved in and it got worse.

    And the cookies went away.

    But alas, some help came on the horizon from the big city to the south. Wise men in suits came to the village with praise and promise. “We want to buy your shops and we will fix them up for you.” And so they bought them — all looked good — and the city fathers said, “This is good. We will even give them more money than they spent and they will do even more for us.”

     And so they did — but the wise men in the suits from the south took the money and left the little village with decaying empty buildings.

     ... Then the city received a gift with strings attached. But the city elders were torn how to use the gift. A decision was made to use it wisely. After many months of wrangling, a vote was cast in favor of this plan. But alas, the chief city elder said, “No — I have a better idea. We can get twice as much money from another city from the south.”

     But some asked, “How can this be?”

     “Oh, the money will maybe double if we decide to wait a year.”

     “Why, we can do all the projects and more if we even wait longer.”

     Again bankers asked, “How can this be?” Most of their clients were only getting $5-10 per year on their savings. ...

— Mike Reinsch
downtown business owner
113 W. Fond du Lac St.

     To read the entire letter, see the Oct. 3, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commmonwealth Press.