The “Save Hillmoor” group’s opposition to the commercial and residential development of the Hillmoor property was successful because it united diverse groups with different agendas, except for all having a common thread of opposition to an open-ended approval to an unspecified commercial and residential development on the Hillmoor property. However, it should be considered that the “Save Hillmoor” group’s road to success now needs to adapt from a defensive mode to promoting a positive vision or dream. The means that are successful in promoting an issue and raising the funds needed to pay for Hillmoor are different than those used to stop the development of that same property.
They are as different as a football team’s offense and defense, even though their objective remains the same. Successful methods for opposition (stopping something) are often negative and unite different views with a common thread of opposition; whereas, promoting and leading to a victory requires a positive coordinated effort with an optimistic vision of the goal and an organized plan to achieve it. A clear vision of that dream and the path to achieving that vision is required or not many city council members or donators/investors are willing to travel that path. At a purchase cost of a few million that does not include any of the needed structures, buildings, parking, repair, maintenance, city infrastructure and loss of Hillmoor tax revenue, a solid plan to pay for and fund Hillmoor is required to achieve success.
Time is important because the Hillmoor Property is stalled at a fork in the road and pressure will again be applied by the owners of the property to follow the road to the right, so they can profit from opening up the Hillmoor property to commercial and residential development or a water park; whereas, the road to the left benefits the city, residents and even tourist by preserving the Hillmoor property for community-related purposes with a central attraction surrounded by a multitude of activities and functions. The city council can go either way or continue to sit at the fork in the road. Their decision on the Hillmoor property may not be reversible and it will have a significant impact on both the city’s immediate future and its long-term future.
So, despite pressure from the owners, it is important that the city council members delay their decision until they have a clear vision and understanding of what is ahead and of the impact that their decision will have on the city, residents, tourists and the future of the city to try and ensure that they are making the right decision for the city and its residents.
Featured photo showing Save Hillmoor bumper stickers are now available at the GSR headquarters (281 Sheridan Springs Road).