Greene County leaders were called together last Thursday to discuss the future of the county. Greene County Health Department Administrator Molly Peters called the meeting that included the superintendents from all three school districts, mayors and other city officials, law enforcement officials, county board members and other influential members of the various Greene County communities.
Peters says she called the meeting so that everyone in the county could get on the same page: “It’s really important to gather the leaders together to share what is going on in the community. Greene County, as a whole, has a lot of leaders. Sometimes messages are not easily communicated because you are diving into your own role and your own, somewhat secular mission. I just feel like it’s important to come together and discuss what’s going on, and then, maybe together we can be more proactive and strategically plan for the future of Greene County. I feel like Greene County overall really needs to focus in on making a bigger impact on specific goals such as food access and mental health. There was an abundance of things brought up at the meeting.”
Peters says that out-mitigation, loss of businesses are two of the things the county as a whole needs to tackle in the long term: “For the U.S. Census, looking at our numbers, there was a 6% loss in Greene County over the last [decade]. There is a continual reduction in population that effects us on many levels. I think that what we discussed and more of our mission is to focus in on Greene County and what makes it so great. Then, promoting in the community that we want people to stay in the community and bring in innovation and basically create a [mentality] to expand. That needs to be kind of nurtured from the beginning in early school-aged kids, and possibly with that creative thinking, gather together and be a support for each other [as a community].
Peters says that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped break down barriers between the 4 larger communities of Roodhouse, White Hall, Greenfield, and Carrollton in a way to make them work more cooperatively. Peters believes that the optimism of community leaders will help them better work together moving forward to combat each of the communities’ challenges. She says a short-term goal is to tackle the loss of the two Kroger stores that were closed. She says that she is hearing an urgent call for unity in the months and years ahead as they attempt to tackle those imminent challenges of population and business losses.