Military can unmake Lacey

February 26th, 2014 by Ken

I stopped by a local doughnut shop in Lacey recently and encountered two soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord buying doughnuts – – lots of doughnuts.

They were buying them as a treat for their unit which was just returning from field maneuvers.  I started talking with them – – both senior NCO’s – – and found out that they lived in Lacey.

“Why Lacey,” I asked?  “It’s a great community with good schools, friendly people and its close to the base,” one of them replied.

Lacey has experienced significant growth in the last decade.   It’s population is nearly equal to Olympia.    In another few years it could become the largest city in the county.

And, that growth is driven by the military, both active and retired.  Currently more than 13 percent of Lacey’s population is active duty military and that doesn’t count the retirees or the civilian contractors who work at the base.

The military are good community citizens.  They get involved in their community, volunteer at Lacey schools, work in various businesses and spend their money in Lacey.

They are a major asset to the city.

But, there are drawbacks to having a significant military population.   They come and go.  Some stay in the community longer than others but some stay only a short time before they are reassigned.

And, funding for the military and civilian employment is dependent on congress and national affairs.

There’s a move in this administration to cut the military.  Some want to reduce the size of our entire military national program back to pre-World War Two days.

While that probably won’t happen,  more military cutbacks are inevitable.   JBLM will eventually feel those cuts.

And, so will the City of Lacey and the businesses in Lacey.

Military families make Lacey a good place to open a business.  But cutbacks in military spending will significantly impact both the city and businesses within the city.

I hope city leaders are paying attention.  And, that goes for the Lacey school district as well.

Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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