It’s not hard to get the wrong impression about our community.
Sometimes it’s our headlines, often the traffic or roads and then there’s the near daily disappointments with our political leaders at all levels. However, though we seem to only count our blessings in late November our community should be doing that year-round.
There’s no measure for the local GDP, but we suspect it probably tops the national one more often than not.
That is, any broad quantitative measure of this area’s total economic activity is often encouraging.
Recently, the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) informed Morgantown’s City Council that “all key indicators are up, up, up.”
As ringing endorsements of the local economy go, that’s more encouraging than any PowerPoint presentation or other display supporting this assessment.
Of course, our community is hardly a stranger to crises of every variety, including the self-induced kind that come at great costs and short deadlines.
What sets us apart from many communities though is this area’s ability to manage such potential disasters. Take the Mountain Line Transit Authority recently managing to pull off an 18-month planning process in six months to move its base of operations to Westover.
No one needs to dwell on the failure to communicate this decision and how it could have probably been handled better. That’s beside the point, now.
Despite everything, Mountain Line’s response under tough circumstances is worth a lot more than kudos. We’ll be the first to say that was a job well done and then some.
And we didn’t even mention that Mountain Line was able to juggle its budget and pay the $600,000 it cost for this transition without pleading poverty.
There’s also this community’s ability to organize and mobilize for mass events without serious breakdowns.
Take the tens of thousands of visitors to last weekend’s 14th Annual MountainFest Motorcycle Rally that came off without incident. Sure there was some rain early on during the four-day event but that’s not subject to anyone’s planning. Otherwise all was quiet; well, loud.
Of course, the greater Morgantown area still needs to steel itself for the 151st return of WVU’s student body. Move-in day is set for Aug. 11 and the first day of classes for the fall term is Aug. 15.
Surely, there will be some disruption to local residents’ routines, but within a week everything usually settles down, sort of.
Finally, it’s not magic, but Morgantown also pulls off transforming itself into the most populous city in the state for football weekends handily, year after year.
So next time you think we cannot get anything right, just remember, we get the big stuff right.