It is always good to be optimistic toward the future, especially if you are a public figure leading a city or county. But it is also good to face the facts and adjust accordingly.
St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and Madison County Administrator Joe Parente both approach the recent population data released by the U.S. Census Bureau quite differently. One is the optimist, the other seems to be the realist. It is very important to continually keep abreast as to the coming and going of our residents. These leaders should not diminish the important work of the Census Bureau.
Locally there are many ways officials can get “estimations” of people to help verify the mid-decade reports, i.e.: 1) contact local moving companies; 2) check city and county tax records for decreases or increases; and 3) use the state’s birth and death statistics. Another vital fact to evaluate is the number of abortions performed at the Granite City abortion building. This is the greatest reason for the decrease in our local population.
Schools can give a yearly report on students lost or gained annually, which usually means loss of families. Motor vehicles can give information on people’s movements.
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In short, don’t kill the messenger but thank him for the awakening.