To the Editor:
I’d like to ask the Jackson County Commissioners why, in the midst of high unemployment and a miserable economy, is there the rush to seal this dubious venture with the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. It won’t pay off for Dillsboro for three years, much less to the rest of the county? Why do the terms under discussion seem more like a bribe to attract the railroad instead of cautious bargaining to secure a return on our dollars?
Each time additional terms are divulged, I am astonished by the weak stance you have assumed. Shouldn’t these conditions (or tighter ones) be the county’s demands for consideration of the loan — instead of terms that allow the loan to be forgiven? Jackson County leaders could be in the driver’s seat; currently GSMR seems to have everything to gain.
My appeal is to all five commissioners. Restructure your negotiations from a position of strength. GSMR obviously wants this deal. Accept nothing less than secure compensation for Jackson folks’ hard-paid taxes.