IP petition ready to be picked up

Published 8:41 am Friday, November 13, 2009

FRANKLIN—A petition that requests International Paper Co. and government officials work together “to minimize the harm” to the community as result of the paper mill’s closure is ready for signatures.

Faye Spencer Bryant, who worked with other community members to put together the petition, said that copies are ready to be picked up and taken to the community.

“We need a lot of foot soldiers,” Bryant said. She thanked Franklin Mayor Jim Councill for supporting the effort, Howie Soucek for writing the petition, and all of the citizens who are involved.

Copies of the petition can be picked up and dropped off at Councill Financial Concepts at 407 N. Main St. in Franklin and Designs By Sandra at 111 N. Main St. in Franklin.

Completed petitions can also be mailed to 30458 Camp Parkway, Courtland, VA 23837. The full text of the petition reads:

“We, the undersigned, are citizens of the City of Franklin and the several counties in Virginia and North Carolina that surround IP’s paper mill here. This petition is to request that IP and government officials at the local, state, and federal levels work together to minimize the harm done to our community as a result of the mill’s closing.

“Our community has greatly benefited over many years from the presence of the mill — not only from tax revenues but by the dedication of its management and employees, who have always contributed to the well-being of the entire community. This worthy attribute has its roots in the founding Camp family, which exemplified such ethics from the beginning and thus defined what it is to be a ‘good corporate citizen.’

“We ask that representatives from International Paper be assigned to work with government representatives to identify any action associated with IP’s withdrawal that could reduce the harm to our community and develop innovative opportunities that can help us face the challenges before us.

“Our hope and prayer is that IP’s leadership, rather than to create such hurt and havoc and just walk away, will instead demonstrate concern for a community that has profitably sustained its mill for years as one of the jewels of the industry. This is what reasonable Americans everywhere expect from a good corporate citizen.”