Investing Locally Makes Dollars and Sense: Use Your Resources for Growth
So much has been said about Lumberton and rarely is there any solutions offered. It's easy to marginalize a city when only the bad elements are presented. I have been told that I focus on too many of Lumberton's problems and that I don't spend enough time highlighting the good events taking place in Lumberton. I must admit, I'm not always the bearer of good news; I usually leave that for the Sunday edition of the Hattiesburg American. We all want a better world; a better Lumberton but how do we go about achieving that feat?
I think some of our most valuable resources are either overlooked or left unnoticed. I recently saw a post where some from the younger generation were sharing their views of Lumberton and it was astonishing to see their view of our once beloved city. I have always been one that will say all sorts of things about Lumberton. I try to balance the ups and the downs but it seems that there are more down moments that uplifting moments. I suppose I could look deeper to find more positive things to post about Lumberton but I'm also a believer that we should call a thing a thing. In order to move forward, we must recognize the problem.
Just the other day, I was looking at a post about my support of the Lumberton Police Department. I, of all people, should be a person that has a f**k the police mindset but I can't categorize all of Lumberton's police officers by the actions of a few rouge cops. For the most part, I think we have a pretty good group of officers. Now, there's always someone that lays in the cut and try to get by with the least amount of work as possible; but that's with every job. I really don't think the citizens of Lumberton realize the daily sacrifices made by those that chose the call to serve and protect. There's the old saying, pay your police officers like your lives depend on it and as a city, we are seriously failing in that department. Since the Winston administration was sworn in, there has been talk about outsourcing our police protection. I think there's a mindset that this will save our city money but when a person is in a life and death situation, I don't think they're going to be concerned about how much money the city saved; they're going to be concerned about how quickly a police officer can respond to an emergency call. I don't think this board support or respect the life threatening working performed by these officers because if they valued their work, they would give them the tools they need to perform their duties effectively. But the low pay and the micromanagement is not limited to the police department. We have clerks working for very low pay, public works employees that are not getting paid to endure the elements and abuse they face in the performance of their day to day duties. Something has got to give and there must be a better way to sustain the City of Lumberton. Unfortunately, we have so many indolent elected officials that are not looking for other resources other than voting to raise the water rates. In order for this city to grow and prosper, we need to think outside the box in order to bring jobs to the City of Lumberton. Lumberton is full of space and vacant businesses. It's time to stop sitting on the board, waiting for someone to come drop an opportunity in our laps. It's time to market the City of Lumberton. Recently, the mayor wanted to establish a website to promote the City of Lumberton. For the most part, city operated websites are stagnant. The other day, I posted a screenshot of the traffic report for this blog. Regardless of the closed mindset of most of our board members, the City of Lumberton is getting promoted and unless they get off their duff and realize they're missing out on a valuable resource, they're not going to be able to reach anyone in a positive manner. In addition to marketing, the board needs to start networking. Both industrial parks are empty. Why haven't we hired a realtor with overseas connections to market those empty spaces to see if an investor would be interested in opening a business here in Lumberton? It may cost some money to get the right connection but just the other night; I was watching HGTV and this realtor sold a property to a Japanese business owner for $12.7 million dollars based on a set of pictures. We can no longer sit back and twiddle our thumbs; hoping someone will call Lumberton with a business proposal.
Another missed opportunity is the fact that the City of Lumberton does not hire local contractors to perform jobs here in Lumberton. We have had millions of dollars in grant money come through this city in the past few years and no one on the board tried to get a clause in the agreement to hire local contractors. We have qualified contractors, Chad Owens/Bill Speed, that live in Lumberton and if hired to perform a job, would more than likely hire local men/women to complete the contracts. For instance, the construction of the new Family Dollar is not bringing in new jobs. However, it would have been great if the board could have made an agreement with the engineers to see if they could include a provision to hire local contractors to help with the construction. Again, we're outsourcing millions in grant funding and it would be great if those collecting the money were investing in Lumberton. Instead, we're simply glad to get the grant and thankful that the person awarded the contract will buy a tank of gas and a box of chicken. It's time we demand more from those writing our grants and those serving as our representatives. Local contractors will invest locally because this is their home. We can't afford to keep outsourcing our grant money.
Our city is divided and it's time we set aside our differences and find a way to use all the resources we have available. We need to be in agreement so we can rebuke the powers of the enemy. In order for us to move forward, we must remove the powers of division from the City of Lumberton. God does not bless division. There is danger in division. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Anything fragmented does not have strength. In order to have strength, we must be on the same page. Remember, one can chase a thousand and two can put ten thousand to flight. If we can get past petty divisions and stop focusing on insignificant factors, we will get on one accord and that will be the best investment we could ever provide for the City of Lumberton. We have the ability to create a new direction for Lumberton but in order to do so, we must be in agreement. Those in leadership positions must learn to listen to others; even those they detest, in order to start the process of growth for our city. Right now we have everybody doing their own thing; doing whatever they want to do; doing what they fell is right in their own eyes and this type of discord strengthens the enemy while causing more division. This is what is leading to the detoriation of our churches, our communities and our city. Outside sources is not the cause of division within our city. Our city is being destroyed from within; and it's the result of a lack of unity. The lack of unity has destroyed many communities. As a matter of fact, without u-n-i-t-y, there is no community. Pettiness, insecurity, pride, anger, he was talking about this person, she was talking about that person, they were posting about me on Facebook, they don't like me, I heard she said, he think he's all that............all of this is a weapon of mass distraction; trying to keep you from focusing on the real issues. When people focus on the wrong things, we remain distracted; separated. Together, we, the citizens of Lumberton, can go to the enemy's camp and take back what he stole from us. Are you willing to work for a better Lumberton? Are you willing to stop bickering for the brotherhood/sisterhood? Are you ready? Then let's roll up our sleeves, set aside our differences and get to work. The future of Lumberton depends on us doing so.