Today's Standard Times has an interesting article on the new mission statement for the city's comprehensive plan. It bothered me during the discussions the city council held, and today it finally hit me why.
First, let's look at what the mission statement is: "By the year 2027, San Angelo will be measurably the most desirable mid-sized city in the state of Texas." First, the key word here is desirable. From Websters online desirable is having pleasing qualities or properties : attractive <a desirable woman>. Desirable is about aesthetics. It's about attracting people and groups. It's about emotional responses. It's about feelings. It's about things that can't really be measured.
We need to be careful when we focus on desirable. We could have council ending up like a group of beauty pageant moms, doing whatever it takes to make the city more desirable in the hopes of winning recognition. Spending money on projects that amount to little more than expensive make up and costumes, with little thought on the basics of what make a good, healthy, safe, happy, and free community.
There has already been a lot of hype about the "desirable destinations" poll out there. Seems too much like American Idol. I don't want to see San Angelo continually competing to win Americas Favorite City Contest. I would say a healthy, safe, growing community is more important than one that is merely desirable.