In support of McLemore

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Few have been more critical of Franklin city councilman Greg McLemore over the years than the editorial staff of The Tidewater News. To this day, we feel the criticism was just. However, we have also on rare occasions given him a pat on the back when it was equally warranted. This is about to be one of those times.

McLemore has recently resurfaced from the shadows of city council in an attempt to push his “Solar City” initiative. The details of his plan, which were published in our Friday, May 5 edition, (McLemore attempts to revive ‘Solar City’ plan) would include the installation of solar panels on all public and private buildings, with some exceptions and exemptions, which would generate the electricity needed to power the city.

His plan also calls for the city to create a tourism initiative based around the solar concept. McLemore is currently discussing his concept with city officials in the hopes of producing a feasibility study that shows his plan is viable.

Quite frankly, we have our doubts as to whether his plan has merit. There are a lot of “ifs” regarding the financing of such an endeavor and, given the state of the city’s finances, it is highly unlikely anyone is in a position to foot the bill. We also don’t see visitors traveling from far and wide to ooh and ah over solar panels.

That having been said, McLemore is incredibly passionate about the project and doesn’t show any signs of letting up in his pursuit. And the reality is that Franklin, as well as the surrounding region, needs a substantial economic shot in the arm. The councilman’s plan may never come to fruition, and we certainly are not endorsing his initiative, but we support his enthusiasm and credit him for thinking creatively in an effort to revive a struggling local economy.