While reading the morning news online, I surfed over for my visit to the Kent County News. I always look forward to reading an edition of that weekly for it is full of creatively and professionally produced local news. Staffers there really cover their beat, Kent County. I wish more of the Eastern Shore’s newspapers would look to that business model and use them as a benchmark for what should be done.
What got my attention, in particular today, was Editor Kevin Hemstock’s weekly column. This time it was an opinion piece about how the commissioners there were not being careful stewards of the county’s heritage. Since that’s a topic we’ve blogged about for sometime we’ll summarize some of the key points because its relevant to Cecil and also the editor phrased it so very well.
Hemstock said: “Even if you despise historic preservation, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there’s a value to old things. Ask any antique dealer. And in a county that’s a little short on factories or oil wells for economic benefit, it’s important to care tenderly for anything that might provide an economic boom. . . . [Our] history, tangibly represented by its old building, both public and private, draws tourists who spend money at stores, restaurants, B & B s, gas station, etc. If the old building go away, so will the tourists. . . . and their money. . . . Then pretty soon you’re just another rest stop on a state highway. . . . While the blame for the demise of the county’s old buildings fall mostly on the commissioners, they aren’t the only ones culpable. In fact, some of the very ones who claims to be proponents of preservation are noticeably lacking in zeal. The preservation community needs to act more aggressively to put pressure on public officials to be more proactive. . . . It will take a concerted effort to preserve what remains of the tangible remnants of the county’s wonderful, colorful history. It is up to the current commissioners . . . to make sure their legacy won’t be the destruction of the county’s legacy,”
This is a mesasge we should heed here in Cecil.