In regards to Daryl Schliem’s announcement he is leaving the Corsicana Chamber and the related duties of Public Relations and Economic Development for the City, I have the following thoughts:

I think it is a good move for him personally, but very troubling for those of us who remain. Corsicana — the city and its collective residents — will never appreciate him. He has far too much talent and drive and will not take no for an answer. These attributes will never be fully accepted.

Corsicana may enjoy growth and the improvements to the quality of life, that are the natural by-products of growth, but will be only in spite of itself — not because it was welcomed or encouraged. This city has “shot itself in the foot” at every turn and juncture. Why Corsicana cannot learn from the example of Ennis, Waxahachie or even Fairfield or Palestine is a mystery to me. There is a lesson that my mother and father used frequently: “If you are not getting better, you are getting worse”. I don’t believe Corsicana understands that.

This city has been great to me. I have wonderful business and personal friends here, employed in both the public and private sectors; they too are ambitious and dynamic. Their efforts and strengths, however, are smothered by the apathy and malaise that is epidemic in this community. In guarded defense of the population, please consider that it has never been properly demonstrated to them through the leadership and example of the “favorite sons and daughters” of the community, that growth and economic development are the perpetual goals for any city. It is only through these that money is available to take care of all the other important responsibilities.

If you want cleaner streets, less crime, better paid police and municipal employees, prompt emergency service, a pretty Christmas display, nice parks, publicly supported arts and programs, etc., these are the by-products of growth and economic development. Better paying jobs, fewer people living on the “fringes” and feeling disenfranchised, better water and sewer lines, fewer potholes ... these come very directly from economic development.

It is a war out there. All of the cities are fighting for the new employers and relocations. Until we start to fight, we will just be “rolled over” by the competition. Quite literally, a “war room” mentality needs to be employed. We cannot wait for these improvements to the local tax base, they must be won by the leaders of this community!

I am so sorry to see Schliem leave. Many of us are better people for having known and worked with him. Godspeed in any endeavors in which you become involved, Daryl.

—————

Jerry Jackson is a Navarro County resident and real estate developer.

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