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The pros and cons of PROGRESS. Where do you stand? How do you define it?

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at 10:14 AM

In another post the conversation started drifting toward the never ending discussion of "progress". I am curious how you define it and your opinion on the pros and cons of progress.

Here is what American Woman had to say in the other blog.

"When I was young my family lived in Murfreesboro for a while and visited it quite often. Since then it has grown tremendousely with lots of variety of things to do. Huge amount of places to eat out, atleast 2 movie theaters that I know of, the mall, YMCA & bowling alley just to mention a few. There once was a skating rink in Murfreesboro as well as here. But now...there is NOTHING here except for a movie theater. Shelbyville has grown very little and is being left behind. My family goes to Murfreesboro at least once a week to shop and eat out...we only shop here for day to day needs. It is my true belief that there are people in this town that have kept new business from coming to this town because if it did these mom & pop home owned businesses would loose money. And until THIS changes Shelbyville will NEVER have anything for the younger crowd to enjoy and many of the adults as well. This town is at a stand still and has been for many years. We needs more than just a movie theater for entertainment. I might not have gave any suggestions on what we need for our younger crowd but you have to start somewhere.

-- Posted by AmericanWoman on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 7:46 AM

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Here's Quiet Mike's response on this subject:


I agree wholeheartedly. The builders of Northgate Mall originally wanted to build in Shelbyville, but leaders wanted to protect local merchants and shooed them away.

Colleredo Blvd. was originally planned to go from Union St. to Peacock but North Main shop owners cried that it would direct traffic away from their shops, so the plans were redesigned.

Also the city puts WAY too much emphasis on the horse show to the detriment of everything else.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 9:56 AM

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 10:15 AM

Now your comment?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 10:16 AM

I agree . . . Shelbyville's growth is hindered by its continuing dependence on the horse show and allowing certain individuals to dictate the industry and businesses that want to come here. Shelbyville does have some potential and especially since Tullahoma seems to be on the decline but some citizens here want to keep things as status quo because it benefits them and not the population as a whole.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 10:29 AM

Also, it boggles my mind how a small place like Bell Buckle can use their imagination and come up with so many fun events and festivals to lure tourists and people to their town but Shelbyville sticks their head in the sand and seems content to rely on the horse show even though it is on the decline. There is definitely a different mindset in Bell Buckle and you can see the progress they are making even with the limited resources they have.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 10:36 AM

I agree completely. If you want change and the people you elected are not making that happen go vote someone in who will. The chamber doesn't seem to be doing much to help either maybe time for a change there too. Sometimes change is good. This town is going to be a ghost town if we don't wake up and make some changes.There are very few places to work, the places that are here pay very little. There are few places for entertainment. I almost always go out of town on the weekends.

-- Posted by Thatsmystory on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 10:55 AM

Progress can be good and bad.

When I was 5yrs old, my family moved to the Murfreesboro/ Smyrna area, way before Nissan moved in. In Smyrna, there was only one red light, a couple of grocery stores and the recreation park. It was a peaceful town, low petty crimes. I mean you could sleep with your windows open without worrying about someone coming to break in. Then Nissan moved in and within a year, Smyrna had their first murder. Then all of the building and construction and traffic began. Smyrna was no longer the peaceful and safe town anymore.

Now, that I am a mom, my kids and I moved out here where it is peaceful, we can see horses running around across the street and we don't have to hear all of the sirens, shootings,etc going on. Not, until they built the hospital and the new office buildings out here. Traffic is starting to get bad, but hopefully, the country will leave some of this country land alone.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 11:41 AM

Too many "eggs in one basket" (the Horse Show) is always dangerous and that brings up another good topic, what is the purpose of a Chamber an is ours meeting it?

We just got notice that some board positions might be coming open, so now is a prime time to campaign for someone you think will influence things your way.

As a past member of the BB Chamber and past merchant in their downtown, I have to admit that there is an interesting mindset there.:-) It is not always harmonious, but new ideas are always being knocked around and their success does speak for itself.

I know the discussion is negative about control but I suggest that controlled growth is really important. People like to live here and visit Murfreesboro to shop and dine, but how many have moved out of there to get away from that very same progress, higher taxes, higher crime rates, heavy traffic and .....?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 12:11 PM

After I posted, I saw PrpleHze's comment. I agree.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 12:13 PM

I agree with controlled growth. I mean this town does need the stores to compete with Wal-Mart and such. But the town also has to remember that with growth means the city will have to widen the roads (which N. Main & parts of Madison needs anyways), the money for more police, etc.

What about building a large Farmer's Market so we can buy fresh fruits and veggies, etc? The Farmer's Markets in other towns such as Lebanon and Nashville attract alot of customers and help out our local economy and gives back to the community.

There are ways to grow, but it has be done in the right way.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 1:37 PM

For those of you who want growth, I am more than happy to help you load up and move to where it is. Growth has never paid for itself and never will. If it did, Murfreesboro would be awash in tax money to spend. They are just a few steps above being broke. Doubling in size in a decade of so is uncontrolled growth and more harmfull than helpfull.

-- Posted by Chef Boy R.D. on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 6:51 PM

So progress might be improving the quality of life without giving in to uncontrolled growth?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 16, 2010, at 9:03 PM

The mindset of people like Chef Boy R.D. is what keeps Shelbyville stagnant. Shelbyville doesn't have to grow like Murfreesboro but it would help if Shelbyville got some better paying industries here and a better selection of retail stores. Also, Bell Buckle has a lot of different events and yet they still remain the same size . . . Shelbyville could learn a lesson from them.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 9:36 AM

In the past, the events in Bell Buckle were driven by merchants, Chamber and individuals. The city not does usually disagree and will help but the driving force is usually from the previously mentioned. I don't think that has changed, but maybe.

I am on both sides of this fence. As a merchant I want to see the retail activity, but as a resident of the area, I don't really want to see it get a shiny new McDonalds or quick markets on every corner.

Regarding retail stores and restaurants it may be a question of which comes first, the store or the trend to shop at home first. (chicken or the egg)

If market surveys show most people shop in M'boro it may show opportunity or it might say, "why move to Shelbyville, they come here anyway?". If there is a strong "shop at home" movement that might help decision makers come our way.

This brings me back to the question of what the Chamber should be doing. Should it be bringing in companies, helping the businesses already here, or??? If I was a realtor, I would want more people coming to live, which could mean looking for new companies. That should translate to more business for the local retail and restaurants, but not if everyone leaves town for their entertainment and shopping.

Maybe the Chamber could do more to help promote local? As a member of MTBN I know they are promoting local but is there more that could be done? Would a strong merchant community encourage other merchants to locate here?

In my travels I have seen towns where merchants seem to go it alone and other towns where they have grouped together to make an impact and strong reputation as a place to gather, shop and enjoy socializing. There is a world of difference.

The merchants on the town square are actively trying, but they need support from the community and maybe as a group, they need to stay open after normal hours to accommodate folks coming in after work. Maybe they do, but and it is a well kept secret.

I know, I know, which comes first? I have tried staying open late in a small town and it was hard to justify, but if the merchants all agree to try it for 6 months, there might be enough momentum.

Of course, keep in mind that this is coming from a person who now works out of his home and sells on the internet. There are times when I miss the social interaction and there are times that I DON'T miss having to keep store hours. What a quandary?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 10:58 AM

If people are going to M'boro to shop, then the local merchants aren't meeting the needs of it's customers. All the "help" from the chamber and city council won't make people buy stuff they don't want or pay prices they can't afford.

People are voting with their feet, so to speak. Rerouting traffic or making laws to prevent competition only hurts the local shopper, and may hurt the local merchant as well, through feelings of resentment.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 12:02 PM

I find it much cheaper to buy local than drive so many miles. I also usually end up buying more than I planned becasue I went so far but, variety of selection does matter too.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 12:25 PM

I think this town has huge potential, but before it can grow bigger it needs to grow into whats already here. I mean look at the huge number of empty commercial buildings we have in this town. On the same note though, what industry really wants to locate in a town that looks more and more like a 3rd world country every day? I love this town, but it looks really really rough. I know that all towns will have a rough side, but ours is spread out all over. Every other side street you turn down looks like the ghetto, and every empty building has been vandilized to some degree.

I also have to agree with the comments made about the horse show. I think it is the only thing holding this town together, and thats a shame. The horse show facilities are really nice and should be utilized every weekend for something. I mean theres is a ton of things that could be there, from concerts to monster trucks.

As it is now, I do not have one idea of what would draw an out-of-towner to Shelbyville. Whether its someone looking to relocate or just a tourist.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 1:04 PM

Who actually owns Calsonic? Is it private or public?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 1:47 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.