News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Now itís every city for self, but with civility, of course

While Congress decided the fate of military installations on the Base Realignment and Closure hit list, Valley cities and counties presented a united front.

The goal was to make realignment mean realigning Army Missile Defense Agency workers to Huntsville.

That accomplished, the goal changes this week as recruiting delegations from several communities head to Arlington, Va., to meet with some of the estimated 2,200 missile agency's workers who may transfer with the jobs.

The outcome is high-stakes economic poker. Those coming here will bring pay stubs that reflect more than double the median income in the area. We naturally want some, perhaps, most of these transferees to live in Morgan County. But Limestone, Marshall and Madison are on the same trail.

Everybody smells a good scent. Pay for these jobs range from an estimated $70,000 to more than $100,000.

Morgan County is sending an impressive delegation. We can be sure other communities will do the same. Each delegation is poised to paint the best picture of its community. Delegations will present choices for the estimated 400 workers expected to attend the first of these recruiting sessions Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hopefully, the workers will leave the meetings confident that coming here represents a win-win situation for everybody.

For us, we will get highly paid, well-educated workers and family-oriented people who get involved in civic projects.

For the workers, they will find their paychecks stretch farther than they do in Virginia. They will find better year-round weather, more open spaces and far fewer of those traffic jams that complicate their drive time.

Our people are set to talk about aesthetics, and the school system's Jeanne Payne is sure to mention that the city hopes to begin the International Baccalaureate degree program next school year.

But the best message these people may hear is that we want them. A hearty "welcome" usually goes a long way.

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