Nothing is constant but change

Nothing is constant except change. Without going into Heraclitus, Aristotle or Chinese philosophy, we are experiencing rapid change. Can you feel it I haven’t seen this cultural change since the late 1960s. It’s radical and extreme. Alvin Toffler, author of “Future Shock” and “The Third Wave” described Future Shock as “… the fear that is evoked by too much change in too short a time.” He predicted resistance to such change, which we are now in see society.

For now, I will spare you a discussion about the division of our nation. We see this here in Madison County, where the Democratic Party is being ousted by the Republican Party at the county level. We can expect more changes as the reallocation process moves forward as Illinois has lost its population and will lose a seat in Congress. Don’t expect Chicago to take that hit. This change will come from Downstate Illinois.

The change I want to address in this column is upfront and personal for all readers. Some of you remember when Illinois routes 159 and 157 were two-lane roads. Troy Road was notorious for rear-end crashes, hence its nickname “Rear End Road” in the 1980s-90s. The demand for five lanes on these roads through the region increased for a variety of reasons. People wanted to live in Edwardsville / Glen Carbon because of the good schools and easy access to SIUE. Accommodation was reasonably priced and the water went from brown to crystal clear thanks to a computerized water management system that was new at the time. What is not to love Rep. Jay Hoffman, chairman of the Illinois House Transportation & Motor Vehicles Committee and a Democrat from Madison County, spearheaded the 159 and 157 expansion, and commercial development followed.

I joked with the late great Mayor Gary Niebur about being excited to cut a tape for a fast food restaurant on Troy Road. Now look at the big developments!

It was then that I came up with the idea of ​​promoting Metro East in the St. Louis business community. I’d worked in downtown St. Louis and in Clayton in the early 1990s. Most of the people I’ve worked with weren’t familiar to the east of the Busch Stadium. Or they knew that Sauget had bars and strip joints. But they didn’t know about any of the communities east of the Mississippi. Well, to cut a long story short, I was able to convince the Leadership Council of Southwest Illinois to run a marketing / public relations campaign to raise awareness among St. Louis and the county’s executive board that Illinois is open for business is. It seems to have worked, along with several subsequent local promotions.

However, I never expected the transformation of communities like Edwardsville and Shiloh / O’Fallon (in St. Clair Counties) to happen so quickly. Those of us who have lived here for a long time are facing major changes that have come with commercial and residential development. Traffic in Edwardsville was similar to Chesterfield Parkway during rush hour. But there was a positive side – we no longer had to go to Fairview Heights or St. Louis to get what we needed at the store. We have had entertainment options far superior to our previous ones and our choice of restaurants is excellent.

We are now looking for new industries like tourism led by Mr. Cory Jobe, President / CEO of Great Rivers and Routes of Southwest Illinois. As a former regional tourism director, Mr. Jobe brings a fresh perspective to our region and lots of great new ideas. More variety! Some of us who are older tend to resist change. More people, more traffic, more pollution, more choices. Others see an opportunity to improve the quality of life and quality of life in our communities. Little old Edwardsville not only has a fine urban band, but also a symphony and opera. And a college and university that want to be part of the community. Nothing is constant except change. Whether it’s good or bad is a perception, and my perception is that as long as the environment is protected, change was good.

“James M. Grandone is a longtime Edwardsville resident. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois and is a former Coro Fellow. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs. He lives with his wife Mary in the Leclaire district. “

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