Let’s embrace change

Winners and losers.

Any time there are two sides, one would believe there will be winners and losers. But life doesn’t always imitate sports, or politics for that matter.

It certainly shouldn’t in Marshall.

Example 1: the sports center that will be built in the near future. There are plenty of people who didn’t give a thumbs up in November 2012 for the local sales taxes to help pay for it and who don’t want to see the thing built. But it’s going to be built – and the way it looks, built in the spirit of the supporters’ original vision, thanks to state bonding that is almost assuredly coming Marshall’s way.

But what about that group of people who don’t think this project is all it’s cracked up to be? We would like to see them rally behind the project like good businesspeople and community members, not talk about it behind its back. No, there are no guarantees this new venue will annually draw the number of athletes, fans and parents to Marshall like the supporters have pitched, but if it does, what a boon that would be for the city.

Example 2: the overpass at Minnesota Highway 23 and Saratoga. There certainly is a population in Marshall that would just as soon not see this happen the way it has been drawn up, and we can’t totally blame them. The bridge topic in this town is already a sore subject, and city leaders likely weren’t surprised about the backlash they’ve received. The overpass would signal a major change at that area, and opponents of the project have brought up some good points against it. They surely don’t want to lose the green space and the trees/shelterbelt. They also worry the overpass will be an eyesore in the area and are concerned the changes might not even result in improved safety. Even though it’s not perfect, we would like to believe the reduced-conflict intersection as planned will make a difference, and while we understand not everyone is happy about the disruption of land, sometimes sacrifice is necessary in the name of safety. And let’s not kid ourselves, the word “safe” doesn’t exactly fit with 23 and its intersections, and experimenting with the speed limit along the highway isn’t going to happen.

Let’s try to be optimistic about the sports center and the overpass – even if you don’t have any interest in high school sports, even if you never dare walk or bike across 23. One project is meant to attract people to town, the other to keep them, and the rest of us, safe on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road.

Change more often than not means progress, and if you’re not changing, you’re falling behind. Face it, change happens. The politics aren’t always pretty and change has a way of making people choose sides, but it is necessary. So let’s give it a chance.