Archived Story

Bad news brings dismay

Published 6:40pm Saturday, April 21, 2012

To the Editor:

It is with considerable dismay that I relay this seemingly perpetual community bad news to you folks.

A start-up business venture working to create several new, soon to be high demand, alternative energy products was trying to gain a foothold in Beaufort County. The products and materials already developed and being developed have/had the potential for supporting a continually expanding multi-level workforce as well as start-up satellite companies to supply and provide for its exponentially expanding needs. Finally, an eyes on the future company had found a viable location with existing, negotiable infrastructure out on Page Road. With a flexible education system in the Beaufort County Community College as a viable source of trained employees and a community in need of success, it looked like a perfect match.

This has all been lost due to small community, self-serving, bully politics, local business practices, a misguided economic development group and possibly a business man not accustomed to “local” business and political practices, all with their own personal agendas. Just a small bit of foresight and compromise could have saved this very big deal. Instead, we are left without our goose or its many potential “golden” eggs. I often wonder if our business and political leaders are afraid of losing their comfortable Tier 1 status… like leaving home for a great adventure… butterflies so to speak. It could also be the risk of having to pay higher salaries through greater competition. I can’t answer for them.

So bring on the unending finger pointing and unproductively childish blame casting without an honest understanding of what we all have truly lost from our grasp. Egos, hostility, zero education in the form of community economics and no learned lessons from history is what we are left with in the form of our most forceful leaders. Everyone knows there are always many, many sides to our decision processes, but in this very important case what our “Community Leaders” (term used loosely) have caused is outragously damaging. Many outside groups interested in locating or relocating here will (and have) seen the writing on the walls because our community is seen as blatantly negative and forcefully uninviting. So we continue our seemingly endless downhill slide. This needs to stop if we want to attract solid business, newcomers and retirees, a direction seemingly preferred by a majority of residents.

My honest wish is that our citizenry will hopefully and finally see that some of our “leaders” lack the community service gene that is so vitally important to the County’s progress we all so desperately seek. In this and many additional instances I see what appears to be a total and inexcusable disregard for the welfare of this county and its short and long-term future. What did we elect them for, if not for this?

Angered by inflexibility, Encouraged by the fact that we won’t ever be able to go forward into the past or back to the way we imagined we were.

JOHN SCHERMERHORN
Belhaven

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