Chicken Plant: Not Dead Yet10-01-14-pub-notes.gif

The proposed Sanderson Farms plant in Cumberland County was pronounced dead before arrival last week, but, thanks to the City of Fayetteville, it’s not quite dead yet.

We’ll see. The whole Sanderson Farms issue has dragged on so long and the arguments, both pro and con, have become so tiresome, illogical and redundant, it sounds like a police officer shooing away rubberneckers at a crime scene.

“Ok. Keep moving. Move on. Nothing to see here.”

Well, it would be interesting to find out just what Sanderson Farms thinks about all this local hubbub. Me? I haven’t changed my opinion on the entire circumstance since last week.

If you missed my comments in last week’s edition several segments of that article are reprinted below. Like I said, nothing much has changed.

“Well, it is the observation and opinion of many well-versed, educated and respected members of the community that these aspects of a fine-tuned and expertly executed offensive campaign in favor of Sanderson Farms has been nonexistent. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

“These are the comments and questions that are coming up far too frequently from local residents who are not in the N.I.M.B.Y. (Not In My Backyard) category.

However, they cannot be easily dismissed. They are residents who want to see our community seize the opportunity to grow inclusively and economically with the potential of lifting thousands of Cumberland County residents out of poverty and into a more enjoyable quality of life.

“What’s not to like about that? This is why the question continues to come up: How a few hundred people affect the lives, future and well-being of several thousand county residents? This is extremely confusing, disappointing and puzzling. Unless, that is, you understand the dual concepts of the “haves and have-not’s” and “money talks and bull walks!”

“So, where is the leadership? Is it true that the majority of our locally elected public officials and the wannabes are more focused and concerned in securing their future campaign support and donations rather than prioritizing the growth and development of our community along with the well being of their 327,000 constituents?”

Now that you have caught up on last week’s notes, let me say that if I were a betting man, I would surmise that the “destiny” of this project will lie with those remaining Cumberland County Commissioners who have not already stated their positions.

Dr. Jeannette Council and Jimmy Keefe are IN. Ed Melvin is OUT. Four to go. So, this being the case, who will be willing to “man up” and take a firm stand without worrying about the loss of future political support, influence or further intimidation that may come with the threat of losing a small, loyal and dedicated voting block of county residents and the campaign contributions associated with such a block?

On the other hand, county commissioners like Billy R. King and Charles Evans may face an additional challenge. Both have a large following of black constituents. Many of which would welcome and benefit from this economic development employment opportunity. Evans, who has done a stellar job building his political career and reputation on being a crusader for the working class and the lone voice of the downtrodden, may find it a little more difficult and uncomfortable trying to convince his local constituents that their best interest has been served by turning their backs on 1,000 jobs at $11.71 an hour with health benefits. Oh, my!

What a moral dilemma for Evans.

Oh, well, one thing for sure, it will not make any difference whether Sanderson Farms comes to Cumberland County or not. Once the county commissioners vote on this one single issue, the result will serve as an affirmation to the level of empathy our leadership has to the other 324,049 residents of Cumberland County.

Remember, “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.” Do you know how to keep a Weeble from wobbling? Don’t elect them! Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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