Valdosta Daily Times


November 4, 2012

A passionate advocate for the library

VALDOSTA — As Chairman of the Lowndes County and South Georgia Regional Library Boards, yes, I am a big proponent of SPLOST. I haven’t tried to hide that, as I’ve spoken to a number of organizations throughout the election period to advocate for the referendum.

As the local newspaper editor, my politics stay neutral and unspoken, and most who try to guess my “leanings” are usually way off the mark. But in matters of economic development, education and illiteracy, I have no issue demonstrating my full support publicly. I’ve been involved in literacy initiatives here in Valdosta since 2002 and was certified as an adult literacy tutor more than 20 years ago. I am a voracious reader, and think it’s extremely important that others have the same opportunity.

I certainly believe in education, continuing my own, and believe that without education and opportunities, the cycle of poverty will never be broken. As for economic development, I’m the biggest cheerleader for business in the community, writing this column for more than a decade promoting local businesses.

So when asked why I support the library and SPLOST, my answer is that it’s my way of promoting the community and helping those in need. What good does it do to simply talk about the importance of these issues without actually putting your own personal time, energy and effort behind them?

SPLOST will generate jobs, infuse money into our local economy, and keep our community on a progressive track. A new library will enable our community to have a place for reading and learning, in addition to all the new uses available through technology, which allows individuals to fill out job applications online, file for Social Security online, register for classes, do research, write papers, or simply explore the Internet and read news, sports, or entertainment items.

Combining the library with the new auditorium allows for the land they are currently on to be utilized by SGMC for future growth. The project brings vitality to the Five Points area, and gives two very well used facilities room to expand, offer essential services, and contribute to the cultural and educational needs of our community while creating jobs.  How you choose to vote is your business. All I ask is that you make your decision based on what will benefit the community as a whole.

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