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February 7, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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February 7, 2018
 

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February 7, 2018 Reporter Page 5A ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN by Don Daniel n the monthly issues Of Georgia Trend maga- zine, there is a column devoted to "Economic Development Around The State", listing com- panies coming to or expanding all around our state, i.e. a beer com- pany expanding in Forsyth County, a cookie company expanding in Johns Creek, a Belgian floor company opening a distribution cen- ter in Floyd County, 70 new jobs going to Soperton down in Treut]en County, and an automotive parts company investing $30 million into a Harris County facility, cre- ating 110 jobs. Hardly a week goes by that we don't see a story about industrial growth happening in counties all around us, Bibb, Crawford, Peach, Jones, to mention just a few. What do these counties and cities have that we don't? Well; we do have a Development Authority of Monroe County with a president and board that should have clout whenit comes to identifying and promoting Monroe County and "selling" a new industry our assets. We haven't had a new indus- try to locate in Monroe County since well, I can't remember when. And then, the City of Forsyth has an economic development director that is supposed to be pound- ing the state and nose to grind promoting down- town Forsyth as a "good for business" location. Downtown Forsyth has a couple of new businesses which raises the question: Did they discover us or we them? Luck of the draw, maybe. I am sure these two individuals and their respec- tive boards can come up with unimaginable excus- es for the industry location stagnation that seems to be plaguing Forsyth and Monroe County. The question that seems to be the main topic that is ignored: What are these other counties and cities doing to attract economic growth? And here's one for you to ponder: What, as a taxpayer, incentives would you be willing to offer/give a prospective industry to locate here? Or better yet, what incen- tives would you recommend to the president of the Development Authority of Monroe County and to the City of Forsyth's economic director? Economic development is a slippery slope and requires a certain amount of finesse to stay "in the game" of bidding against other cities and counties for an industry that is out shopping around for the "best deal" economically. It would be a local game changer if we all could work together, unified without selfishness or con- cerned about who gets the credit. We all get the credit when we are unified. CLEANING off my desk, I found this email from J Anna Banks, formerly with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs but more recently, Forsyth's Better Hometown Director. She now lives in Alabama but has close family ties here in Monroe County. She wrote, "I hated to read the train museum efforts came to a halt in Forsyth. While I don't know the particulars---space, $$$, etc. to secure a home, I do understand the impor- tant significance of the rail history in F0rsyth- Monroe County and the tourism draw it could be for the City/County". J Anna further wrote of the logical locations for a train museum: "While I am no longer a resident, I want your community to grow and sustain local businesses. Here are three options that may or may not work and you may have considered these: 1. the old Ann's Deli---great location off 1-75 and would clean up the derelict property. 2. Two story white bldg. on Tift Campus. At one time there was talk of making this bldg. a museum. Maybe it could be a combo project---train history and jail/ COC history (top 10 arrests/prisoners---got to be some colorful stories) plus close to proximity to depot/rail. 3. Mr. Newton's property located next to stone depot, back second that's "level" from street elevation. He already has some retail space---un tapped potential to make year round farmer's mar- ket, train museum, a retail "depot" if you will. "Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and t hope that the train museum project can be resur- rected." Great ideas but sadly the Forsyth City Council did not and does not realize the potential of such a tourist attraction. Rather, they want to spend taxpayer money to construct an arch on North Lee Street to welcome tourists past hamburger hill to Historic Downtown Forsyth-If-You-Can-Find-A Parking-Place, take-a-shower-at-our-water-park, play-golf-on-the-course-we-j ust-bought, have-a- meeting-at-the-legion-hall-which-now-has-new- roof, bring-your-skateboard-and-do-tricks-at-this exciting-new-skateboard-park-that-is-under-repair. Don't wait on this one! The council, at its annual retreat in Atlanta, seemed to prioritize getting rid of blighted properties. This newspaper and in this column identified six blighted properties long ago and, you guessed, nothing has been done and the city ordinance in regards to blighted properties has been ignored and more than likely will continue to be so with excuse after excuse! OUR county commissioners are "eyeing" a master plan for the Monroe County Recreation Department and Sarah Bazemore was the first with that answer to The Question. She receives a certificate for a dozen Dunkin Donuts, Dairy' Queen Blizzard, J6nah's cookie, two Lucky Caf6 egg rolls, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetiz- er, Forsyth Main Street t-shirt, The Pickled Okra sandwich, chips and drink. Here's The Question for this week: according to last week's paper, how long (how many days) has it been since Congressman Austin Scott held his last town hall meeting in Forsyth? First correct email answer after 12 noon on Thursday gets the good certificate. Don Daniel founded the Reporter in 1972. Email him at mediadr@bellsouth.net. TAKING A LIKENS by Dale Likens the past two months my wife and I have driven to Arizona and back t ice. Eight thousand miles in all! We're tired! People asks how our trips went. Let me sum it up this way: Arizona is okay, Texas is a long, long, long way from anywhere and the other states in between were wonderfully closer to home. That's about it. It's nice to be home in Forsyth, Georgia. Because of our long, sometimes tiring, trips, I woke up one day last week realizing January was almost gone. What happened? I didn't even have a moment to think of a New Year's resolution. The truth is, I haven't thought of one for years. When I did, I usually forgot them by February, so what's the use? Now, my thoughts have changed to predictions; like what might happen between January and December of this year. Actually, I'm not too good at predict- ing either, especially in sports. Shamefully, I even predicted Hillary Clinton would win our last presidential election. Not because I wanted her to win. Well! All the polls told me she would! However, since one of our vis- its to Arizona was to attend our grandson's wedding, my first pre- diction is that sometime later this year my wife and I will receive a phone call from our grandson and his lovely wife informing us that we will soon be great-grand- parents! That, of course, would be wonderful news since my wife /;: ;i is already checking every baby store at Tanger Outlet and near-by malls for baby clothes. Another prediction I am brave enough to pub- hcly announce is that Democrats will still be taking counseling classes and playing with clay to help them ove our past presidential election. My third prediction is that a few, heartless Republicans will sneak into those classes and mix a bag of cement and a bucket of water with the clay just to con- fuse and rattle the Democrats a little more. My fourth prediction is that President Trump will offer all our representatives and senators a huge pay increase and finally get a 100 percent agreement from each party. Prediction number five is that the FBI will no longer be referred to as the FBI. From this year on it will be called the SYCU, which means "Shucks, You Caught Us!" One sure prediction I will make this year is that Rep. Maxine Waters of California will some- how wiggle her way past Nancy Pelosi and soon become our new Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives. Then, I predict that Nancy Pelosi will protest and shout, "Impeach her! Impeach her! Impeach her!" I know this is a common pre- diction among many who follow politics, but I predict the "swamp" will soon shrink to a mere "pud- dle." I believe more and more Democrats and Republicans will crawl out of the swamp and dis- appear into thin air. Then maybe, just maybe, we can get back to making America Great Again! Finally, I predict that some brave soul will e-mail Sean Hannity and tell Sean he really likes him. I believe he will toll Sean that he has chickens that watch the Sean Hannity show with him and none of his chick- ens have died watching the Sean Hannity show! (I guess you have to watch the Sean Hannity TV show to know where I'm coming from, btlt I predict it will happen!) Then maybe, just maybe, he will finally get rid of all that nonsense at the end of each program! Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County. CAROLYN'S CORNER by Carolyn Martel day I was thinking about the privilege of teaching at a women's conference. As I looked out over the congregation, I noticed some of the women were crying. WHAT WAS I say- ing that struck ~ nerve in thesewomen' Here is the main poir~ of my teaching. I said, ' lbday, God wants .to activate some hopes and dreams, talents and abilities that have been lying dormant inside of you. Satan has done all he can to shut you up, shut you in and shut you down. Some of you should have lost your mind by now. Some of you shouldn't even have a mind, because of all that you have been through. But look at you. You're here today and that's a testimony of God's unfailing strength and love! Obviously there's something in you that refuses to die! You have refused to roll over and play dead. Satan would love for you to do that, but obviously you're a fighter and you refuse to be defeated by the schemes of the devil. I CONTINUED, )~t~j :r~,~ p "Ladies, I want you to see yourself living such a fearless, confi- dent life through God's unlimited power, that you will cause the devil to have a nervous break- down! Instead of you being the one having a meltdown, let him be the one that's calling for Prozac and walking the floor at night. Let him be one who he is wring- ing his hands; let him be the one who self-destructs; let him be 'the one who rolls over and plays dead because he sees Christ in you - "the hope of glory!" HAVE YOU lost your'confi- dence? Maybe the bettor ques- tion is, "Do you need to reclaim your confidence in God?" His word offers this encouragement to men and women alike. Heb. 10:35 says,"So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!" Carolyn Martel is the advertising manager for the Reporter. Email her at ads@mymcr.net. OUR Monroe County's congressman Austin Scott (R-Ashburn) held his last Town Hall with his constituents in Forsyth (at right) on Aug. 20, 2014, which was 1,267 days ago. Scott defeated incumbent Congressman Jim Marshall in 2010 after Marshall went several years without hosting a Town Hall meeting with his constituents in Forsyth. If you want an opportunity to let Scott know what you want him to do in Congress, call his Washington office at (202) 225-6531 and let him know. When Brian Kemp became secretary of state on Jan. 8, 2010, Terry Scarbor- ough's survey of the Monroe-Bibb county line was on his desk.The law says it's his job to do something with it. But Kemp, an ambitious politician who announced on March 13, 2017 his intention to run for governor, punted. He announced on Aug. 23, 2011 that he was rejecting the Scarborough survey because he can't be sure it's the original line. Unfortunately, the law gives him no such option. So on March 10, 2014, the Supreme Court ordered him to set the line and resolve the dispute.That was three years ago.The Reporter is devoting this space each week to counting the number of days Kemp has been on the job, and yet not done his job. If you want Kemp to do the job which he's sought three times before he gets a promotion to governor, call his office at (404) 656-2817 and let them know. SERVING YOU FORSYTH CITY COUNClL EricWilson Mayor 478-461-0889 Dexter King Chris Hewett Julius Stroud Mike Dodd Post 1 Post 2 Post 5 Post 6 478-320-3160 478-960-1017 706-819-0797 478-994-6203 Melvin Lawrence Greg Goolsby Post 3 Post 4 478-993-7841 404-402-1134