The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Letters to the Editor

April 16, 2008

County’s efforts send wrong message to potential businesses

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 — I’m concerned that the Stanly County commissioners are being short-sighted and misguided with their last-ditch attempts to deny Alcoa a new license for its dams on the Yadkin River.

To suggest that a government-run operation will be more beneficial to Stanly County than a private enterprise demonstrates that county officials don’t understand the negative impact such a move would have on businesses in our community.

As a private business owner who located in Stanly County because of Alcoa, I can tell you that Alcoa’s presence here supports many local businesses like mine.

By outsourcing services to local contractors, Alcoa can get work done more efficiently and with lower costs. I employ a number of people who work directly for Alcoa but are not technically Alcoa employees. These people live here, pay taxes here and support local establishments.

Will I stay if the property becomes government run? Probably not. The business opportunities will be much more limited with a government-run enterprise, so I’ll probably pack up and move to a place where my business — and private industry in general — is more valued.

The commissioners also should consider how their relentless attacks on Alcoa will impact Stanly County’s ability to attract new companies here in the future. If you were a private business owner thinking about moving your company to Stanly County, imagine how you would react.

No business owner wants to move to a place where this type of treatment of a long-time corporate citizen is not only tolerated, but encouraged, by our elected leaders. I’m afraid that Stanly County is shooting itself in the foot by earning a reputation for being unfriendly to private businesses.

I write this letter as a concerned employer in a county that needs to enhance its attractiveness to private employers for its economic well being. I don’t think citizens are going to be best served if the largest employer becomes the government.

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Letters to the Editor
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