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home : opinions : letters August 25, 2016

7/31/2012 9:29:00 AM
Letter: Williams needs the next generation

To the editor:

We have a wonderful community here in Williams, but I am concerned about what the future is going to have in store for us. The biggest example of this doubt was last weekend during the Relay for Life.

Despite many months of advertising, announcements, word-of-mouth campaigning, and many other means, the Relay was put on by a committee of only five or six people, myself included. By 1 a.m., the Relay Committee members and only a small handful of others were still present at the event, which goes until 6 a.m. Many people who have been involved in years past simply weren't involved to the extent that they have been previously.

During the Relay, I asked a few of them who came down what has caused the decline in not only Relay participants, but also other community events. The response was that many of the people who have been involved in the community for many years are getting a bit older and don't have the ability to be as active, and that very few people from the next generation are willing to step up to the plate and take the reins and carry these events into the future.

When I heard this, I immediately knew they were right. Our community has a large gap in it, due to the lack of quality jobs for our younger people. Many of these people leave Williams shortly after they graduate from high school, and make their livings and raise their families elsewhere. Sure, they come back and visit friends and family from time to time, but they aren't around to be active in the community and help organize these wonderful events and step into leadership roles. I know many people I went to school with that would be great assets to our community, but they have moved on and are living elsewhere, in places where they have the financial resources to live as they desire and start families.

If our city leaders don't make a push to bring in more employers to Williams, our future is very uncertain. What is going to happen when all of the current community leaders can't do it anymore? What is going to happen when our current city leaders decide to move on to a more relaxed retirement? Who will take over, and lead Williams into the future?

Our town is dying a slow death if we don't get more of our younger people to stay in Williams and become active in the community. I love this place, and want to stay here for the rest of my life. But without the resources for more people my age to stay in Williams and raise their families, I am worried about what the Williams of 20 years down the road is going to look like. We must find ways to keep our younger generation here, before it's too late.

Bobby Patricca

Williams, Ariz.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2012
Article comment by: old timer

Ron Pauley

If you don't want to ruffle feathers, then why do you keep doing it? "The powers that be" were talked out of it? Why? The company you speak of that you haven't got a name for was going to build a water line to the airport for itself, how nice of them. What did they want in return? Really ask youself why would a mayor or city councilman not want good jobs for the townspeople of Williams? The anwser is simple. They ALL do and did, and to say they don't or didn't really is beyond ridiculous. Maybe you should researach a little harder and you shall get the truth.

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012
Article comment by: Ron Pauly

Hank, they told you to get out of Dodge.
My point here is not to ruffle folks feathers,just get a conversation going.
I did find out the group offering the jobs
were from a national Steerman aircraft group.They were looking for a place like Williams airport.Willing to build hangers and the CD burning buisness.They even wanted to pay for the water to be run to theyre shop.I
was told that someone talked the powers that be out of it.
To bad all those empty home lots behind the elementery school couldnt be sold and developed.Someone should work on that.

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Article comment by: Hank Ford

I wanted to build a Ford plant in Williams. I was going to provide some really good jobs, not $10 an hour like you get at a tourism related job. I was told no! When I asked why, I was told we don't want any really good jobs in Williams. We like to keep our citizens under the poverty line, and the mayor and the majority of the council all drive chevys.

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Article comment by: Lifelong Resident

We have alot of small businesses in town, and the owners pay employees minimum wage. It would be nice to have some type of industry here, that would pay more and offer benefits. I wonder how many people in Williams, are without Medical Insurance.

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Article comment by: Ron Pauly

If i remember it right,am best was the truck stop and i think they own the property on the ne corner beside the freeway.Im not a buisness man but so im not privy to all the facts.
There was a group of people from silicon valley that wanted to build a CD burning company at the airport and the wanted to provide those jobs and for whatever reason it was shot down.
Im one of many poor people living here
and i just want more for the town.
The plane facts are like many small towns
a small group of people has the money or influence to change things.I am curious how the railroads headquarters? are in flagstaff? Do we lose money or taxs with this setup?
And our expensive airport,a moneymaker?
needs some thought.My dragstrip idea isnt that crazy.Over a thousand cars run at firebird raceway on run what you brung night.Lots of tax money and buisness for the town.Eighth mile drags would keep the top end speed down and give planty of room to slow down.
Calling me names for wanting an honest discussion here about the future of the town?
Lets keep this open and going,go ahead add some positive ideas.

Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012
Article comment by: you are full of it ron

What company wanted to build at the airport and provide 100 jobs paying $10 an hour? $10 bucks a hour, then they should have been given the key to the city for sure. What was there name? Did they want the City to pay for their relocation costs? Did they want the city to pay for infrastucture, and give them tax breaks to move here? Free water and sewer hook ups?

Truck stop at I-40 and 64? That isn't even private property is it?

Stop the rumors, half truths, and flat out lies.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: Ron Pauly

The folks from California who wanted to start a buisness at the airport,one hundred jobs paying ten bucks an hour. The truck stop a company wanted to build at the 64,i-40 junction.
A company wanted to build up the rodeo ground and i hear they wanted to make it part of the pro rodeo circuit.
Im sure there were more.These were all turned down.We also dont reach out to all the various motorcycle and car clubs that could come here.Other clubs have told people about getting gouged here with special prices just for them. Oh yeah the drag strip idea for our airport that dosent do much.Think of all the people who would come here and spend money.Even if it was once a month.
The latest was rv folks who told me of getting chased out of the woods after coming here every summer for years.Now theyre going somewhere else and theyre tax money went with them.Im sure the local shops didnt need the buisness.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: mike hutchins

How about starting a business? Don't wait for the city government to hand deliver you a company that will pay you what you desire. You need to become a leader and not wait for government to provide leadership.

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Article comment by: long time resident

Dear Bobby

I applaud you for taking such a great interest in Williams!

I do have to comment on the rumors though. William's City Fathers have not ever turned down a viable company that wanted to relocate in Williams. The reasons why a company may have been interested in Williams, but ultimately relocated somwhere else are numerous. One reason would be that Williams has always had a shortage of water. Any company wanting to relocate to Williams could not be a heavy consumer of water. Wouldn't it be prudent for the city manager, mayor, or city councilmen to be up front about the availability of water to any prospective company? All these company's do their own homework also, they would quickly find out that they could very well have to shut down operations if William's water supply got to low. Also wouldn't it be prudent for a mayor or city councilman to not want a heavy water consumer when the City didn't know if they would have enough water to make it through any given year? To think that any city manager,mayor or city councilman did not want a company to move to Williams and provide good jobs is ridiculous.

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Article comment by: name them please

Former Mayors and Councilman 10 years ago pushed people out that were interested in building near the airport? What were they going to build? In fact weren't those same Mayors and Councilman responsible for making the airport area a viable place for a business to relocate to in the first place? Why would they then "push" jobs away from Williams? Just for fun? Don Dent was on the council 10 years ago, why don't you ask him to substantiate the rumor?

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012
Article comment by: Just A Thought

Anyone ever think that young kids want to leave to experience life and gain different perspectives. College, military, etc. etc. Life in Williams for some is just not that great. Been here most of my life, and the quality of life has never changed. It is what it is, like it or leave it.

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Article comment by: Bobby Patricca

I also have to disagree with Pat Meehan. We have already seen what happens when we are totally dependent on tourism and the Canyon for our entire economy. Let's face it, there are very, very few quality jobs in the tourism industry. What our younger people are looking for are consistent, year-round jobs that pay their bills and give them some spending money 12 months out of the year. Jobs where they can use the college degrees that they get after they leave Williams. I can't really think of any of them that would be willing to put their degree aside and work here in Williams for minimum wage serving at a restaurant or working at a hotel, which is about all we have in Williams.

I said a couple months ago that if our leaders were pro-active, they would chase down companies like North America IML Containers, who have a temporary facility in Flagstaff and are interested in a larger facility to be built in Bellemont. We need to see what it would take for that facility to be in Williams. Maybe at the Airport? There's Industrial-zoned land out there that's sat vacant for 10 years. What about the big piece of property just north of I-40 next to the water plant, where the asphalt place was a couple years ago? We need to be pro-active and seek these companies out, and give them good reason to build their facility in Williams. Our freeway access and location is just as good as Flagstaff and Bellemont (just have to get that Frontage Road built between Airport Rd. and Grand Canyon Blvd.), why is nobody building here? Is it our Impact Fees? Is it our tax rate? Is it our asking price for the land? Or are we just simply not talking to them and pursuing them? Find out why they aren't coming here, fix it, and go after them.

"name them please", I don't know of any specifics, but I have heard from several people that there have been multiple people interested in building out by our Airport and were pushed out of town by former Councilmen and Mayor's back around 10 years ago. How accurate that is, I can't say, but I do know quite a number of people have told me about that. The bottom line is though, Flagstaff and Bellemont are getting these companies and Williams isn't.

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Article comment by: Williams Resident

We are crazy to depend so totally on the Canyon - once the new restaurants, stores and hotels are opened in Tusayan in the next couple of years - a large part of the Canyon visiters will skip Williams. What is our town council and Chamber doing to prepare for that. Nothing that I have heard anything about...the newspaper won't even wriite an article about it beacuse they make so much money in Tusayan

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Article comment by: PAT Meehan

As long as the Grand Canyon is here and I don't see it leaving anytime soon, there will be a Williams. More and more children are returning to the roost. As long as there are artisans and souvenirs, life here will go on.

Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012
Article comment by: name them please

That is right, you can't, becaue it simply is not true. Williams resident you are full of it. No factories were ever turned down! The city may have not given in to "tax incentives" that some company may have wanted, but they never turned down anyone who just wanted to build a business and provide jobs. I have lived here my whole life, and know all the rumors that have gone around town, just like this one.

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