It’s the second Sunday of the month, and The Huntsville Times has published my latest community column entitled, “New to the city? Here’s a handy guide for you newcomers.”
Sigh. You know the drill. Here’s the first paragraph:
We moved to Huntsville 15 years ago this month. Back then, what I really wanted was a reliable newcomer’s guide. There are probably folks migrating to Huntsville from northern Virginia as part of the BRAC move who feel the same way. Maybe some of them will even read this column.
And here’s the rest.
For the uninitiated, BRAC stands for “Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.” Basically, the federal government from time to time will close down a military base or move a command from one area of the country to another, presumably to cut costs and increase efficiency. Yes, I managed to type that with a straight face, but barely.
Huntsville benefited from BRAC in the 1990s, receiving several thousand workers and their families from St. Louis, and now we’re poised to do the same thing again with a large group of federal workers in the DC area. This will occur over the next few years, and local leaders and head honchos of every variety are all atwitter over the prospect of such a boon to the local economy.
“If you build it, they will come” is the new community cant, and this has launched a wave of spending on new “this or that” in advance of their arrival, some of which, admittedly, is needed. I wonder sometimes, though, just how big the impact will be and whether or not it justifies some of the frenzied “spendthriftiness” that I’ve witnessed lately.
But if they do come like they say they will, then I’m figuring that folks moving from northern Virginia will be in for a little Southern Culture shock. So, I’m just trying to lessen the blow and be a good neighbor.
No need to thank me; you’re already welcome–in more ways than one.