To those of you who are in favor of annexation: Mayor McKenzie, Board of Aldermen and those at large, or as I would say, “hiding,”
Years ago Columbia-Marion County was a flourishing town and community from its sawmills that not only served as a lumber mill but ground corn-ginned cotton, which provided shelter and food for its workers and families. Columbia and Marion County have some very deep roots. A lot through time, I sadly say, have been forgotten. Let me remind you if I may.
Growing up here, folks could say we were poor: no running water, no indoor toilet. We heated water on the stove for our bath water, which we then poured in a No. 3 wash tub. Oh, by the way, water was drawn from a well in the front yard by hand with rope and pulley.
Were we poor? No, absolutely not. We had family and friends that lived, worked and went to church with us. We trusted each other with anything we had. If we needed anything or they needed anything what was theirs was ours vice versa.
As years passed Georgia Pacific was built in Goss, which employed +/- 300. Then you had Ethel Corp., later turning into Can-Tex with +/- 200 employees, Rutter-Rex clothing plant +/-300, Orleans Furniture +/-400, W.E. Walker Stores “Bill’s Dollar” +/-1,000, Coke plant, Sears, Nickel Store, McCaffrey’s, J.C. Penney, Winn-Dixie, Stringer Oilfield, Meat Masters, Columbia Starter, Martin’s Shoe Shop, Colbert & Benson, Lampton’s, Watts Bros. clothing, Dutch Girl.
When you came into town on all corners there was a sign, which by the way has been replaced recently, that read, “B.A.W.I. Balance-Agriculture-With-Industry.”
One can say all the businesses above are GONE. (P.S. And many more that are not mentioned). Will they ever come back?
Now let’s change gears. To those in favor of the annexation. Look at your once-thriving town: All those taxes are gone; your town is suffering. Or is your greed making you lose sight of your future and of this community?
It’s only my opinion, but imposing on the people of not only of Lakeview but others annexation and more taxes is not what you need to be looking at, but a way to manage what you have.
Your needless spending, or as some would say living above your means, on things that are not necessary. Yes, they are nice but take care of your streets, your rundown buildings, power lines, trash, crime, drug abuse. Take care of your people that you already have. Show them real respect; help them first. Show them and people from outside the city that you really care.
Let’s see some action in your town. Don’t offer us what you can’t even give to those already in the city limits.
Oh, and if the city expands, taxes will go up. Everyone will pay for those promises.
You know I can only speak for myself, but I made myself a promise as a kid that when I grew up that I would provide my family better things in life. Thanks to God, my wife and I have done just that: five children, 12 grandchildren, great church, wonderful jobs, a lot of miles and hard work; it’s time to rest.
I’ve said that to say this: We, along with everyone else on the signed petition, respect our request for no annexation. NO MORE TAXES.
William K. “Skeeter” Stuckey