Book Review: Thirteen Ways to Kill Your Community
Guest Reviewer: Jenny VanOort
I think it’s safe to say none of us, at least those of us actively engaged in our communities, are attempting to KILL said community. Authors Doug Griffiths and Kelly Clemmer have written the complete guide to doing just that, or if you are clever, do the reverse and come out on the other end with the most fabulous community you can conjure. Thirteen Ways to Kill Your Community is the bible for community planners and those striving to help their small communities survive, with practical advice divided into concise chapters on everything from clean water to why competition is a good thing. Who knew there were so many things we do every day, even those with the best intentions, that are slowly (or quickly) killing our communities and all efforts for progress. Pick up a copy of Thirteen Ways to Kill Your Community today, and learn how to do precisely the opposite.
The 13 community killers as the author suggests are:
1. Don’t Have Quality Water – Ensure there are no plans in place nor efforts made to build on the quality and quantity of your community’s water supply.
2. Don’t Attract Business – You must work hard to ensure new business do not come to town or make it easy for existing ones.
3. Ignore Your Youth – Ensure youth are made aware that the community is not interested in them and there is no future for for them here.
4. Deceive yourself about real needs or values - Do not identify what your weaknesses and what it truly needs.
5. Shop Elsewhere – Do not patronize your local shops and as a business owner never give customers a reason to shops locally.
6. Don’t Paint ¬– Do not take measures to enhance the aesthetics of your community. If you do people and businesses might move there.
7. Don’t Cooperate – Discourage finding collaborative solutions and leave decision in the hand a just a few community members.
8. Live in the Past – We all know that things were better in the 50's 60’s, 70’s and 80’s always remind people of the good times.
9. Ignore your Seniors – Do not provide services for seniors in your community. That way , seniors will will move to communities that have services.
10. Reject everything new – Keeping doing the things the way you have always done them. This will ensure consistent results.
11. Ignore Outsiders – Remember that outsiders are dangerous as they may cause success. Make them feel unwelcome and eventually they leave and take their ideas with them.
12. Become complacent – Lose focus of your goals or even better do not even make any goals for you may change something for the better.
13. Don’t Take Responsibility – Remember if you can only manage one thing to kill your community, not taking responsibility for anything is key.