The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 10, 2012

Our View: Making the strong finish

— It all began with a series of sticky notes.

That’s right. That was the genesis for the rebuilding of Joplin.

And the words on those notes were yours.

Some of you wanted Joplin to come back after the 2011 tornado with sidewalks and neighborhood parks and lots and lots of trees. You wanted safe rooms and efficient housing. You wanted bike and walking trails.

Others said Joplin needed a new library, a performing arts center, a convention center, even a minor league ball field.

Yes, some dream practical dreams and others dream big.

Those yellow sticky notes have caught the attention of a lot of people outside of Joplin. Most recently, they were mentioned by Time magazine, which has listed Joplin as No. 4 on its Top 10 Comebacks of 2012.

Here’s what it had to say:

“Led by local business owner Jane Cage, the group started the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team to work with the local government and act as a voice for residents. In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a $45 million investment in the city, which will go a long way toward bringing the sticky-note plan to life.”

Passage of the much-negotiated tax increment financing proposal will also fund the dreams listed on sticky notes. Residents should hear more about the outcome of that proposal this week.

We want the best for all of Joplin. We continue to put our support behind the TIF proposal as long as the Joplin School District does not lose the impact of the $62 million bond issue voters endorsed in April. That too was a comeback moment in Joplin’s post-tornado history.

But, as you all know, we really haven’t made a comeback until we finish the long, hard job ahead of us.

There’s a reason accolades are being heaped on our town. Joplin figured out how to help itself.

We applaud the ingenuity and the creativity.

Now, let’s finish the job.