Last year, Michigan City Planning Director Craig Phillips told me that this town currently has a perfect storm of resources and like-minded people in positions of power. This is crucial for positive momentum with regard to economic development.

Phillips was right. The resources are there, even if a shortage of property tax money has people rightfully concerned. Currently, the mayor, City Council and Redevelopment Commission are all seemingly in agreeance that the time to transform the city is now.

The changes we've begun to see already are substantial. The south end of town continues to develop and the north end continues to add assets. There's also progress toward an east side TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) district that could spur development there, too.

It's a fun, exciting time to live in Michigan City. In five years, the landscape is going to look dramatically different. In 10 years, I can't even imagine.

Now, you know all of this, of course. I'm not really informing you of anything new. If you haven't felt the winds of change, then you're not paying attention.

How do we continue this momentum? Well, that's what I want to talk to you about.

On May 5, a primary election will take place, and it's a big one. After November's general election, we'll have a Mayor working with a new City Council. The people who occupy these positions will have a tremendous responsibility in helping steer this ship for four years.

As I've said, those will be a crucial four years. Decisions will need to be made that will impact generations to come. The stakes with any election are high, of course. But this round of elections is especially important to Michigan City's future.

You won't see endorsements of candidates in this paper. While I know it's a popular practice in the industry, I think it's a violation of the trust you place in us. Our job here at The News-Dispatch is to educate you about these candidates and the issues surrounding them. Your job is to head to the polls on May 5 (and then again on Nov. 3) and vote for who you think is best positioned to accomplish for Michigan City what you want for your town.

Attend forums, read everything you can and then get to the polls. Representation at the polls has been miserable in recent years. Don't let other people decide for you what's best for the town in which you live.

So, yes, it's an exciting time for Michigan City. It's also a critical time. We all have a job to do here, so let's do it.

Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at aparkhouse@thenewsdispatch.com or 1-219-214-4170.

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