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LETTER: Strategic plan does not discount our unique history

LETTER: Strategic plan does not discount our unique history

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Plan does not discount our unique history

Last week, 50 regional leaders gathered virtually to continue working on a strategic plan to ensure the future economic health of the region.

The plan underscores the region’s talented workforce, thriving existing businesses and need for affordable workforce housing. It also calls for building a regional brand expressing what makes us unique and memorable to any business looking for a home.

Sunday’s editorial [“Don’t discount region’s unique history”] was interesting mostly for what it didn’t share about the branding discussion.

The editorial states it is not OK if the out commuters “clog our roads.” However, the region also has nearly 38,000 people commuting into the area. Vibrant regions have both in and out commuters, and the long-term goal should be a net neutral number.

As for the editorial’s fear about abandoning our region’s rich history, no one suggested we should. Instead, all agreed we should add to the story.

Our geography has defined our history along the banks of two major rivers that flow through our community, the Potomac and the Rappahannock. The rivers define not only our history, but also many other attributes that would attract businesses with good jobs and contribute to our enviable quality of life.

In 1608, John Smith brought commerce here when he traded with Native Americans living along the falls of the Rappahannock River. NSWC Dahlgren hosted history’s first radio-controlled flight (drone) over the Potomac in 1924. These are just two of our region’s worthy stories.

History, geography, recreation, innovation, workforce, quality of life—these are not mutually exclusive subjects that somehow can’t be woven into a succinct narrative within the geographic framework of our two rivers.

Finally, the “consultants” mentioned in the editorial were business site location consultants. We do tend to listen to groups that advise the very businesses we seek to attract.

Curry Roberts

President,

Fredericksburg Regional Alliance

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