Residents of Shorewood, I do not believe, think of themselves merely as a group of homeowners held together by a common tax base.
If any do think of tax base, they would be very few.
I believe that we should think of ourselves as a community, if only from the standpoint of owning homes next to each other. This is a place where we send our children to common institutions.
Here is where they interact, in a sense, as an extended community family. This type of overall community interaction becomes more than the interaction experienced among adults of the community.
Parents can live here in Shorewood and participate or separate themselves from this basic-type community element or share it through the activities of our community and primarily through their children.
Without becoming too tied to specific population statistics, one can't help noticing an increasing number of elderly at the grocery store and at other places in Shorewood.
It would seem that in addition to accommodating our children in this community that we are becoming aware of that growing number of elderly living here with us and our children and most of them unrelated to us and our children.
We certainly are becoming a three-generational and perhaps a four-generational community but not in the same way as past extended families.. Never-the-less, shouldn't we take advantage of this fortunate situation. We might stop to consider whether we are second or third generation or even forth, especially as we begin to move from one generation to the older ones.
Some of the children are growing and developing without that tender benefit of intergenerational relationships with understanding grandparent types.
I would believe that those of us who review our memories, those of us with good relationships with our grandparents would say that these experiences brought us more pleasure and happiness than the upper 20% of our present incomes do today, if we were able to make monetary value comparisons.
In view of the growing proportion of elderly in our global population and in that of our nation and of that here in Shorewood, we are doing little to accommodate that social wealth, that upper 20% of what we are worth in our daily lives.
We are not doing much about programs that would develop our economic and social center for this new type of developing community. We do not have such a center. But perhaps, we must invent one?
If one were in the right position, one might invent and develop one. Is there anyone in that right position? Only a few are prepared to think about our future in terms of those upcoming changes. The rest think that the world is going to remain the same, on a projected track to the future.
I've experienced that any 5-year span that I've lived, as these “ time spans” increase in number, are unlike any previous 5-year life span. Therefore, I expect this five-year span ending this year to be like no other in the past nor no other in the future. So how shall I view the next five years and plan for those changes that will be coming? Rather difficult to do.
As a community, we can expect fewer of our children in school. But we'll have an increasing number of elderly.
How are we going to plan for the changing age composition of our community? How is it going to affect our business district for example? What is a “business district” in terms of these demographics?
Should Walgreen's have to leave, what do we have left? Should Pick-n-Save have to double its size and the size of its parking lot, as it has done in other places, would that size store add to or detract from our community center setting, our “business district?'
If these things are likely to happen are we just going to let them happen, just as we've done with Schwartz's Bookstore? Aren't smaller enterprises what we need? I don't know. Does anyone in Village Hall know? How should they know? Why should they know.
Even if it were just for the sake of “tax base,” shouldn't we somehow make some change, in view of what we do know?
For example, fewer children in school and more school space. More voting elderly. What about this situation? What of the likelihood of these changing patterns? Are there some ideas out there? Some answers might be suggested in the questions that are asked.