I have lived in

Hudson for 25 years. I continue to wonder where we are headed as a small, detached suburb in the midst of a sandstorm.

In my college classroom and through a successful management consulting practice, I employed a military model for explaining the planning "process." Eisenhower said "plans are nothing; planning is everything." I still believe in it.

The steps are simple: clarify your objective; evaluate risks/rewards; develop an over arching strategy; create action plans and implementation responsibilities, note accountabilities, performance milestones, dates, costs; judge financial impacts; begin operations as agreed upon with timetables specified; permit changes in tactical control to those with "boots on the ground;" replan as success or failure dictates; and recycle if on attack.

The city of Hudson and our schools have it backwards. A land-use plan, a community survey to establish need and want (out of order), and now a marketing plan to establish a new image? Plus consulting fees for new ideas for the Youth Development Center property. Is there any coordination?

And the schools -- special fundraisers -- everybody's trying to get into our wallets.

It seems to me a wildly useless enterprise and wasted money. But when you've got a gullible community, what should we expect?

In our past we have dabbled with the following strategic options:

Inviolability -- Protect our borders, no incursions by outsiders for political or economic control.

Sustainability -- Change our character to better balance residential, commercial/industrial/institutional uses for tax base improvement.

Manageability -- Conserve resources to provide "best quality of life" (definable?).

Adaptability -- Adjust to forms of impending regionality, the NEO Corridor, and shared wealth.

About 25 percent of Hudson households are led by singles or couples over 65. With new assisted living, and new elderly residences coming, how much will that rise? How deep are their pockets to support schools and city extravagances?

Donald Flower,