Give McLemore credit for idea; more needed

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010

To the Editor:

Franklin Councilman Greg McLemore has an idea.

While I am not competent to judge its technical or economic feasibility, it is an idea.

Outside of much hope and little faith that something wonderful will happen at the sadly quiet industrial site across the river, I have not heard of any other ideas (nor have I produced any), so the councilman is to be commended for what is certainly an original creation.

Does anybody else have any ideas to share?

I am sure that our economic developers are pursuing opportunities in their traditionally secretive ways, and I occasionally hear tributes to our relationships with their development colleagues in Hampton Roads.

I am a little skeptical of the concept that some developer in, say Chesapeake, is going to suggest that a hot prospect should locate in Franklin/Southampton instead of his bailiwick, however.

This perception comes from experience dating back to the old Tidewater Virginia Development Council of the 1960s headed by Norfolk’s ex-Mayor Fred Duckworth. I recall we received more bills than benefits (Union Camp was a supporter).

It seems we are in transition from a manufacturing community to a marketing center as demonstrated by our retail strength that continues to advance on Armory Drive. While the stores do not pay paper mill wages, they do pay, and that may be our future.

My belief is, one, we are going to have to do it on our own, and, two, we need some out-of-the-box original thinking about marketing our community.

Councilman McLemore has an idea. Let’s have some more.

Joe Stutts