Milestones: A letter to Santa Claus

November 28, 2005
Henderson, North Carolina

Dear Mr. Kringle:

We know that while Santa might live in the hearts and minds of each one of us, he still has to have a physical plant and a municipal support structure behind his base of operations. That’s why you’ve just got to reopen Christmas right here in beautiful Henderson, North Carolina! The children of the world are depending on you, and you can depend on us!

We cannot tell you how grieved we were to learn about the melting of the polar ice cap. We understand that it may be gone in the next 50 years, and Christmastown with it. Having been in the business for a while, we are certain that you have already begun prospecting for a new place to re-establish your holiday operations. We just can’t think of a better place to rebuild than Henderson!

We think you’ll find that Henderson is uniquely suited to your needs as Father Christmas. First of all, it’s built on rock. That’s right, genuine bedrock! We even have a quarry or two here in Vance County. Nothing short of a nuclear explosion is going to melt this place. What we have, Santa, just won’t go away.

A quick tour of our fair city will show you that there’s plenty of manufacturing and warehouse space available due to recent industrial restructuring. We think our currently vacant facilities would be very well-suited to providing some holiday cheer. By way of decor, at this very moment those buildings are exhibiting some artwork from our more enterprising young population. Those lists that you keep can give you exact details as to who, what, etc.

We know that you’ve got billions of dollars of inventory ready to be moved come Dec. 24. The city of Henderson stands ready to provide at least a few law enforcement officers and firefighting professionals, depending on the mood of the City Council and city manager. Those firefighters are equipped with real, working fire hydrants at this critical time, too, thanks to a recent state inspection. But you don’t really need them, Santa. After all, who in Henderson would steal from Santa? And as for fire, that’s what Christmas miracles are made of.

We know that industrial accidents are always a sad possibility. We know how deeply you care about the welfare of your elves. Because accidents do happen, you’ll be pleased to learn that Vance County has just centralized ambulance service in order to provide its residents and businesses with the best protection it can without incurring additional expense.

As for the elves, we think you’ll find that Vance County welcomes all sorts into its community, as long as they speak English and don’t come off as “transplants” by demanding things like constitutional rights or following the rules. Naturally, your elves will also need a place to live as well as work. There are several City Council members we can put you in touch with who would be happy to provide housing for your workers in “appropriate” neighborhoods at rents that won’t make them much greener than they already are.

Elflings will be pleased to hear that the schools are staffed with competent and compassionate professionals as well as kids from Teach for America who will be able to help them adjust to life in the United States. Knowing that not all elves grow up and choose to work in your shop, Vance County Schools can give them with the tools they need to go on to a career in dentistry, provided they have the resources with which to teach them.

We haven’t forgotten about the reindeer, either, Santa. As an agricultural community, Donner and Blitzen and the rest of the gang will be right at home here in Vance County. We would suggest, though, that they stay a good distance away from the tree line at this time of year, as well as Wal-Mart. We wouldn’t want any tragedies.

Taxes are a burden that, alas, all businesses must face. Doing business does have a cost, Santa, even if it is for the children. However, since we realize that you would be coming to Henderson for the long term, I’m sure we could get you at least a 50-year moratorium on your taxes as an incentive to come and live and work with us.

And if this isn’t enough to convince you, Santa, we’ve got one more ace up our sleeve. We’re just a few short months away from completing a really honking huge library where you’ll be able to fill the 364-day off-season by playing on the Internet with one of six computers or exploring the cavernous spaces as-yet-unsullied by books!

In short, Santa, all we want for Christmas is YOU!


The Henderson-Vance Economic Partnership