Longstanding animosities between cities and with the county were in the crosshairs at an economic development meeting Thursday as attendees emphasized that working together is the path to prosperity.
About 50 business people and local and county officials attended the county-sponsored meeting at Marion Community Center.
Several people had spoken when Tracye Warner of Florence tackled the issue of conflict head on.
“Do you guys hear what the young people are saying?” she said. “Some of the older people who have lived so long with these divisions between the cities and the county and the other cities, we’ve got to change, or we’ve got to let them take over, because we can’t keep bringing that old business up when we’re trying to do new things.”
Rodger Charles of Peabody agreed, citing a recent Wichita State University study that projected the county’s population would plummet to just over 4,000 people by 2064.
(Read more: Marion County RECORD)