Jowers: County in a critical phase; unity encouraged

Jowers: County in a critical phase; unity encouraged
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
County commissioner Danny Jowers is calling for unity among county and city leaders, urging everyone to work together for the benefit of Obion County.
Jowers briefly expressed concerns about any recent county-city turmoil when he addressed the Obion County Commission Monday morning, adding to remarks he made at a budget committee meeting two weeks ago.
He said Obion County is “in a critical phase” of retaining people for its workforce, as well as for any prospective industry, and he said many young people are moving away from the county to find jobs.
“What we’re going to have to start doing, I believe, as a county and the residents of the county, including all our cities, is start working together as a unit, putting aside all the things that have happened,” he said Monday. “There have been rights and wrongs on everybody’s part, but to continue to beat this up, to continue to put this in the paper, to continue to point fingers at this one or that one, is counterproductive. And we’re not going to solve any problems by doing that.”
Jowers told his fellow commissioners it’s time to “act as Obion Countians, and that includes all citizens of our county, and we need to start showing leadership from our end of it, too.” He said commissioners have accomplished a lot in the past and he urged them to think about the future of Obion County and all its citizens as they make future decisions.
“We vote and we come up with proposals, or if the city comes in here with a proposal that they need help with, think of it as a county project, that we’re going to improve our county,” he said. “After all, we are a county …”
Jowers said it is not his intention to criticize anyone, adding, “Criticism doesn’t get anybody anywhere, I promise you. It just makes hard feelings.”
“I just want us to try to work things out and be better residents. I believe good things will come to our county if we do that,” he said.
He said there may be future projects that the county commission will be asked to act upon and he urged unity among all those involved, specifically citing a desire to keep young people in the community and to see the county flourish as a whole.
“… We need to speak as one voice,” Jowers said.
County commissioner Jim Bondurant responded by saying “we have a lot of good going on” in Obion County. He shared how he was recently taking his visiting son-in-law to Reelfoot Lake and how impressive it was to travel along Everett Boulevard and see the new Veterans Park, a fairly full parking lot at Titan Tire and the construction at Discovery Park of America, then to turn onto West Main Street and see the impressive Abernathy’s business operation.
He echoed Jowers’ sentiment by adding, “We are all in this together.”
Bondurant also shared a quote he recently read which has been attributed to writer Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
“So we need to search ourselves and whatever we need to do to right the wrongs we’ve done … Because, like I said, we are all in this together,” he added.
In other action during Monday morning’s 20-minute meeting, which was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and with prayer led by the Rev. Judd Mowery, pastor of Troy United Methodist Church, the commission:
• Approved the appointment of Jowers, who works as Obion County’s Emergency Management Agency director, as the county’s safety officer, at no extra salary; and approved a resolution to establish an Occupational Safety and Health Program for Obion County’s 770 employees, which includes personnel from all county offices, departments and facilities and all county schools.
The resolution establishes rules and regulations for the safety program, as well as guidelines for inspections. Jowers explained he will do spot checks at the county’s various facilities.
• Approved six notary public applications.
There were 18 county commissioners present at Monday’s brief session. Commissioners Paul Albright, Tim Doyle and Kenneth Cheatham were absent.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 10.16.12

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