Attracting and Retaining Families
Savanna has steadily declined in population for some time now. We are projected to continue that trend for the foreseeable future. There are many things that contribute to population loss and Savanna is definitely not alone in this. Many small towns are declining. With that being said, I believe there are some things we can do to attract and retain families in Savanna.
I will work with the park district to get more activities for kids in our area. We have beautiful parks and facilities and should be offering day camps during the summer. Get kids out and moving. We have amazing access to outdoor recreation in this area. Offer archery, canoeing, hiking etc for kids. Redeveloping and adding better access to the River will also help with family activities. I will bring back Taste of Savanna and expand the Shadfly fest to include more for kids.
Retaining families has a lot to do with jobs. I will work to bring new industry and market Savanna as a great place to do business. I will also work closely with our newly elected State Representative Tony McCombie help bring jobs to our area. However, bringing jobs is only half the battle. I will work with community organizations to provide job training and seminars such as resume writing, interviewing skills etc. For example, we have a Federal Prison looking to hire local individuals. These are good paying jobs with great benefits. However, the application process can be a little complicated. I will work with the Prison and local organization to provide coaching on getting in the door.
Perhaps most important to attracting families is the condition of our homes and properties. People do not want to raise a family next to a home that is unkept. This includes grass, paint, trash and cars in yards and any other ordnance violation. I will immediately move to hire re-hire an ordnance officer. We will set up a very streamlined routine and follow up system. This will include weekly touch bases with the ordnance officer. Property owners that neglect their properties effect all of us. They will be ticketed and we will be holding them accountable to cleaning up their property. This effects so much in our town. It effects attracting new residents, it lowers our property values which in turn negatively effects our schools, It lowers the amount of people stopping as they drive through which lowers our sales tax.