A Cup Running Over ‚€” Looking toward our future.

There's a natural tendency for people to focus on ‚€œwhat‚€™s wrong‚€�. That's natural, and helps us look at what has to be changed and focus on that job. But we also need to come together and meet on what is right and good in our county.

Shenandoah County is a beautiful place, a gorgeous place to live. Everyday we are treated to more of the Creator's splendors than many people see in a lifetime.

We are blessed with a rich history. From the iron forges that steeled the American Revolution, to the breadbasket of the Civil War Confederacy, to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the Great Depression; Shenandoah County has played a significant role in almost every age.

We have a tradition of self-reliance. We are decent and sensible people who rightly desire to choose our own way for ourselves, our families, and our community. The people of Shenandoah have repeatedly faced great difficulties and overcome them. We are far better prepared for uncertainties of the new economy than other areas.

Growth will happen. Together we can meet the challenges to accommodate more people while conserving our land and water. We must and we can, and there are more than enough examples to guide us through that process.

Economic growth will happen. There are many working examples where the economy prospers on a base of small enterprise, not mega-factories. The resources are right here under our noses, just waiting to be used.

We are at a unique time, a turning point.

We can continue to imitate the northern Virginia counties and let our County disintegrate into sprawling miles of buildings and congestion; or we can determine to follow our own path to sustainable prosperity.

If we adhere to a foundation of common-sense Jeffersonian principles, foster an environment where creative enterprise can grow and flourish, then the possibilities for Shenandoah County in the 21st Century are truly limitless.

I urge you to reach out for what is good, what is true, and what will endure. ‚€” Jim Patrick; Oct 2003