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Archive for May, 2011

Living in Reality

Written by
Rickey Hayes
Retail Attractions, LLC

My adult working career has been diverse to say the least. It has been a mix of retail, health care, law enforcement, non-profit, counseling and economic development in both the public and private sector. I have been married to the same wonderful woman for thirty one years, raised four children and developed a vast network of interpersonal relationships as well as. I have experienced life at many levels, and each one of these life stages has been an education in itself. Perhaps the single hardest thing to learn in each stage is how to live life in reality. And it is no different as we work for our city clients.

One of the most difficult tasks we face is getting the various elements of city government to look with focused eyes at reality. Reality is sometimes harsh, sometimes brutal. But living in reality is always the best way to live. Living in fantasy has been the downfall of many individuals and organizations. Fantasy is sometimes fed by ignorance, sometimes by deceit. Regardless of where fantasy comes from, living in a false world is never going to get us where we need to go.

Our federal government is currently trying to avoid default by implementing “extraordinary measures”. The first “extraordinary measure” will be the suspension of a category of non-marketable bonds known as State and Local Government Series securities or SLGS (often referred to as “slugs”). These securities are tailor-made for state and local governments and are designed to help them pay for their debt. The federal government can’t pay their bills so they are passing the buck to the state government. Our government is in this mess because they refuse to live in reality.

We see cities living in a false world where they think revenue is going to create itself. City managers and city councils are pressed to create new sources of revenue to meet growing budget demands across the board. The “way we have always done it” philosophy isn’t working in today’s economic climate. What cities need is a new vision and new leadership. Cities need to take responsibility and face reality. Sitting idly by waiting for something good to happen doesn’t change the quality of life in your community. At Retail Attractions our philosophy is simple. Identify the needs of a community and figure out the best plan of action to fill those needs. Contact Retail Attractions to help your community make positive change a reality.

Rickey Hayes is the principal of Retail Attractions, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping cities and developers successfully find retail sites, close deals and improve the quality of life for our client cities.