Chamber Corner

Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Terry will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

I enjoy a good ghost story, so I thought I would share this information with you. I recently received a call from a gentleman who had noticed that some nights the lights in the old Kentucky Fried Chicken building were on… and then on another night… they were off. So, he wanted to know if I knew why.

I explained that I had not received any phone calls from people saying they had seen an old white guy in a white suit with a white mustache and goatee in the building. Thus, I'm fairly certain Colonel Sanders is NOT haunting the place. We haven't had a good rain or electrical storm in a long time, so I'm pretty certain this hasn't been caused by some sort of weather phenomenon. Which leads me to believe, that someone has been going in and out, and they simply forget to turn the lights off.

Mr. Audie Brown is the superintendent of Silver Consolidated Schools. He came to Silver City during a time when Silver Consolidated Schools seemed to be embroiled in much turmoil and chaos. Due to his care for this community and his concern for the students… Mr. Brown jumped into the frying pan to take on the challenge of correcting many things that needed to be fixed within the local school district. And… he took it on during a time when the State of New Mexico was struggling to find money, cut funding, and implement a testing program that was not being received fondly around the State.

I'm going to share this personal observation – Mr. Brown has some exceptional intestinal fortitude to take on the job of superintendent.

You may be wondering… what is Scott talking about? I’ll admit, since the New Orleans Saints blew their game with the Vikings this past weekend, football is out. And I’m not a big fan of professional basketball. Of course, golf is too slow for me to watch it on television. Thus, I must be talking about the New Mexico Legislature.

Yep… New Mexico political games are starting with a bang. I’m not certain what the total is this afternoon, but when I checked a day or two ago there were 282 bills being introduced for this 30-day session. Basically, if you can name a topic, there may be some bill that is specifically or vaguely related to it.

This local newspaper has been using lots of ink to discuss the importance of being politically active. We live in a time when too many people simply sit back and hope that other folks will run for an office, or other folks will elect the right person. There’s no doubt that some of you reading this article probably haven’t placed a vote for anything in the last 5 to 10 years. I don’t know how you can shirk that kind of civic responsibility.

As we get ready for local elections, we need good people to help move our community and our county forward in the future. We need people who have ideas for growing jobs and opportunities. We need men and women who are willing to be leaders… not just followers.

Are you ready for this New Year? I honestly can't say I am ready. Heck, I'm still trying to finish some of the tasks I needed to conclude before the end of 2017. Plus, there are so many things I would like to try to do in 2018. Yet, I'm uncertain there is enough time to get to them all. Well, we'll try our best to get around to everything in 2018. Those items that do not get resolved… well. they become part of the list for the year of 2019, I guess.

The Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce's first lunch meeting of 2018 is scheduled for Thursday – January 4. It will be held at the Western New Mexico University Student Cafeteria "Sunset Room". The meeting will begin at 11:45 a.m. and end by 1:00 p.m. The cost of the lunch is $15.00 per person.

Our guest speaker is Mr. Ken Silagy. Ken will give the Chamber members a preview of a workshop that will be held in February titled "The Money Puzzle".

On Tuesday, January 9, the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce will host the initial meeting of the Gila Area Watershed/Forest Restoration Collaborative. This meeting will be held in the Grant County Business & Conference Center located at 3031 Highway 180 East in Silver City. The meeting will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Chamber of Commerce will participate in three legislative events this month in Santa Fe. There will be a Legislative Conference of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce Executives Association. The New Mexico Association of Commerce & Industry / Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Legislative Reception at the Santa Fe Convention Center. The last event will be the Prospector's Grant County Day at Santa Fe. The Chamber of Commerce will have a display at most of these events marketing the Grant County area as a great tourism destination, a great place to reside and find work, and a fantastic place to have great weather year-round.

We will also actively market the use of the Grant County Business and Conference Center for regional and state-wide events that could be produced here in Grant County. We are already planning for Gun Shows, Weddings, Rock Shows, a Karate Tournament, Cornhole Tournament, Baby Showers, Regional and State-wide meetings, family reunions and workshops.

2018 will be a busy year. If we can help you with an event, call us at your convenience. The phone number is (575) 538-3785. You can also stop by the Conference Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays thru Fridays to tour the facility. We have lots to offer. Come check it out!

Admittedly, I have never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. I am of the opinion that if it is important on January 1… why wasn’t it important on September 11? But to some people, this is the time of year when they make plans for the next 365 days.

So, let’s share some possible goals.
1. The population of Grant County, along with the population of each municipality grows. We have to stop hemorrhaging people. Our population needs to grow. We need more students attending our schools. We need more businesses to open in Grant County, creating more jobs for people looking for work. We need to stop the outflow of our community wealth, and we need our community tax-base to show growth. Planning for population growth is tough in many ways. Heck, there are people reading this article that do not want to see more people moving here. They do not want to see new businesses open here. To them growth means current businesses will be harmed and somehow or another that the small-town way of life will be lost forever. Well community leadership needs to get past that way of thinking. When a community is stagnant, the community is dying. Our community leadership needs to devise a strategy to market our area for growth. We need to analyze our pitfalls and our assets to build a plan to achieve a pattern of growth by 2020.

People say that there are two things that are inevitable or that never change… death and taxes. Well, I think there is another item that could be added to the list… Santa Claus.

During my 60 years, Santa has remained the same. He brings hope and cheer. He provides the opportunity to dream "big" at least once a year. He has always worn the same red suit, rides in the same red sleigh, and even has the same reindeer each year pulling his sleigh. During times when we are seeing so much change in attitudes and even physical changes all around us… Santa remains steadfast bringing cheer and seasons greetings all around the world. Even after all this time, the "Ho-Ho-Ho" is still the same.

In the past, I have written about visitors, and some local residents, complaining to our office that they did not feel safe walking in downtown Silver City after dark. A while back, I shared those comments with Silver City Mayor Ken Ladner. Well now its time to say Thank You to the City Administration officials who have replaced the old bulbs in the light fixtures along Bullard Street with new bright LED light bulbs. Man… walking along Bullard Street in the downtown area is much better now.

Just the other day I got a call from a lady talking about how Denny's is killing local restaurants. Bull. Yes, that was my response.

Live from Silver City

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