Gary Moore: A new and brighter day is dawning over the Kankakee River Valley

April 26, 2018 GMT

Based upon my recent columns, I was asked sarcastically during the weekend, “Are you becoming a cheerleader for Kankakee County?” My answer was easy, “Yes. Why aren’t you?”

As the old radio DJ would say,

‘And the hits keep on coming!’

I’ll ask again. … Are you paying attention to all the incredible news about Kankakee County? CSL Behring and NuCor expansion, the Potential Riverwalk project (which must be bigger and bolder) … and now the Chicago Tribune report that Kankakee County is poised to become the renewable energy capital of Illinois.

The very same Chicago Tribune that has through the years seemed to gleefully report on the demise of our area now is touting our predicted rise to energy dominance.

Of course, I’m excited, and you should be, too. The Daily Journal reported on April 11 that the Kankakee County Board approved 10 permits for small-scale solar projects across the county. This is news we should all be celebrating.

County board chairman, Andy Wheeler said, “We are on the forefront of clean energy. There’s a reason they’re coming to Kankakee County. It’s not just because we’re the only takers. We’ve got the best access, the best ordinances.”

Wheeler continued, “For residents who say, ‘We didn’t want landfills, and we don’t want more taxes,’ this is a way we can make revenue and do it the right way, with something that’s safe, renewable and on the leading edge of what’s going on out there in the United States.”

Big, positive things are happening in and for the Kankakee River Valley, and there never has been a more important time for you to be aware of the opportunities, so you can make the most of them and not be left behind. There are great jobs here now and more are coming.

Are you ready?

Great communities believe that greatness is coming

Author and futurist Joel Barker has written extensively on the effect that a community’s belief in their future drives their actions, and how those actions create their future. As such, I am convince our belief in our future is the beginning of making it so.

If you talk about and believe our community is destined for crime, decay, poverty and failure … your belief systems cause actions that create the picture you see.

The converse also is true, if you believe, as I do, that Kankakee County soon will be the premier economic powerhouse of our state and, maybe, even the entire Midwest. Your beliefs drive actions in the direction of success.

Is belief in a positive future enough?

No, but it is a great start. The belief drives our actions and our actions create the success.

I believe in Kankakee County, but it is not because of warm feelings or well-wishes. My belief in our positive future is based upon verifiable evidence.

Businesses are coming to the Kankakee River Valley for a variety of sound reasons. The city of Kankakee and our county board have both taken recent actions that are positive and intelligent, designed to move us forward. We are positioned in the shadow of one of the world’s great cities.

I can go one and on, but the facts all point to growth and prosperity for our community.

How can you play a positive role?

Be informed.

If you don’t know what is happening around you, you cannot take advantage of the opportunities. The Daily Journal is the best and most complete source of local news.

Be positive.

I’ll paraphrase Joel Barker by saying success comes to those who first believe it is coming. Be optimistic and believe.Then, take actions on those beliefs. The late Zig Ziglar use to say, “You gotta stop the stinkin thinkin.”

Get ready.

Further your education and gain required skills. If you are informed and optimistic, you’ll know what jobs are here and are coming, then act to gain the required skills to compete. Remember, no company owes you a job; you must earn it.

Be supportive.

Get behind our leadership and show your support. There never has been a more important time for us to all get on the team for a better Kankakee River Valley.


Believe there is something better for you, your family and community. Believe (based upon the evidence and recent news) that an exciting and better day is here, while more is right around the corner. Your belief will drive your actions and help move our community in the positive direction we all desire.

I’m optimistic about our future an excited about the actions being taken to make it so. So yes … I am on the Kankakee River Valley bandwagon. My only question is …

Why aren’t you?