An open letter in response to Gerri Anne Fennessey's recent (Jan. 3) letter to the editor: Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the state of Bennington's economy. I agree with you that the closing of Carmody's restaurant is a major loss to Bennington. Not only is Bennington now down a major option for entertainment, we are also down over 20 jobs. As sad is this is, I'm concerned that this is the tip of the iceberg. The closing of Carmody's should be looked at as a barometer for the state of our town. No longer being able to support what once was a thriving business like Carmody's should be recognized as an indicator that we are in major trouble.
Bennington is not moving forward, it is falling backward due to stagnation.
Town government does not actively recruit new business. We take a passive approach to this by focusing on retention and waiting for business to come to us. This is as a failing philosophy. We need to be actively recruiting new business to Bennington. We have the talented staff to accomplish this, but we need to stop talking and start doing. As I write this today the Banner's Facebook page is live with discussion about what business' people would like to see in Bennington. This list is a great place to start.
I can not promise that actively recruiting business will bring us success, but what I can promise is if Bennington does not try it will fail. If we are successful in attracting new business to Bennington, existing business will benefit because people will have more discretionary income. It is time to adopt a new strategy. We need to reach out to businesses and request them to have a presence in our community.
The writer is a member of the
Bennington Select Board