BGrening Jan 2014 for OPINIONAs Ridgefield and North Clark County grow and data transmission explodes – physical and digital connectivity are front-burner issues. It’s true here at home. It’s true in Olympia. It’s true in Washington DC.

Livability, education and economic prosperity depend on connectivity – roads and digital fiber optic networks are essential to a growing economy.

When it comes to building public infrastructure there’s always room for rigorous debate on projects, priorities and funding mechanisms. But the need for connectivity is beyond debate.

People and data have to move. Congestion is more than a nuisance – it’s a signal that our people and economy are not working at full potential. It’s a sure sign we’re not as competitive as we could be. Failing to be competitive hurts business, it hurts wages, and it hurts people.

Infrastructure is connectivity. If we don’t stay connected we all lose. Yes, building public infrastructure is expensive. But lack of connectivity, loss of opportunity, and a weak economy are more expensive and harmful to our quality of life.

So, the port with your support is working on this. We’re looking at public and private funding and public/private partnerships to cost-effectively build modern infrastructure. We must get infrastructure right, because without state-of-the-art infrastructure we can’t build a state-of-the-art economy to support a state-of-the-art community.