Residents be aware that Thursday night 4/7/2011 a meeting was held in the court house with the sole objective of attracting new business and jobs to Cannon County. This meeting was open to the public and had been advertised in the Courier at least twice. Senator Mae Beavers and representative Mark Pody were invited along with local government and business leaders. Both Mae and Mark attended along with Don Rigsby from the Tennessee Economical Development Office and Beth Cope from US Representative Diane Black’s Murfreesboro office.
It was disappointing to say the least and a slap in the face of the citizens of Cannon County at the apathy and turn out of our local government and business leaders. In fact only two of our ten county commissioners, Tony Neal and Russell Reed chose to attend. If my memory serves me correctly only one member of the Chamber of Commerce attended, Carolyn Motley and no one from banking or real estate whatsoever. I cannot imagine what could be more important in the minds of the missing officials than jobs and industry for Cannon County. Russell’s comment prior to leaving at the end of the meeting was most appropriate. I have tried to quote him to the best of my recollection “If you don’t like who participated tonight then you should show up at the polls next election”.
As I watched the proceedings unfold it was obvious that both the city and county representatives were uneasy with their comments which took the form mostly of generalities rather than anything concrete that was in process or planned for the future. There was the potential for the THC Corporation to increase their workforce in the future when their lease was up in another state. One specific comment made by the mayor indicated he was a friend of someone who worked for a company in Calif. and that the company was looking to locate the business to either Cannon County or China. I would like to think this could become reality, however; no details were provided and the comment seemed nonchalant. When Mike Gannon was asked by a young lady about what plans were on the books to entice business I, as well as the majority of the audience was unable to detect anything significant forthcoming from his answer.
Overall there seems to be a total lack of concern for the welfare of the citizens and constituents of Cannon County. No urgency! Each of us deserve better from our elected officials and business leaders. Our leaders need to perk up their low level initiative and get serious about recruiting industry and jobs for our county. If our elected officials and business leaders don’t stop pulling in different directions and being so concerned about political affiliation and the good old buddy system and start working together as a team with ALL our citizens, there will be no new industry and the remaining businesses in our county will be in trouble.
James W. Hill III
Woodbury, Tn 37190