Roses and thorns: Sedrick Fenster and Tyshun Clayborn, rake leaves while working with the City of Columbus Summer Youth Program at Friendship Cemetery in this file photo. Sedrick is the son of Monica James and Foster Johnson, and Tyshun is the son of Tesia Brooks and Ernest Clayborn, of Columbus. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
June 3, 2017 8:49:39 PM
A rose to the membership of 4-County Electric Power Association for an excellent, and essentially painless, campaign to provide their community organizations with much-needed funding.
Since "Operation Round Up" was launched in 2015, members have provided almost a half-million dollars in grants to police departments, fire-fighters and charities. The program allows members to round up their electric bill to the next highest dollar amount, with that money going into the 4-County Foundation.
An impressive 93 percent of members participate in this voluntary program and the average annual cost for a member is about five bucks. It's pocket change that adds up to support some great programs. We would love to see other companies provide this opportunity for citizens to help their own communities.
A rose to the anonymous donor who stepped up to ensure the city of Columbus could offer a summer jobs program this year. The city had given up on the program this summer after MDOT announced it was unable to provide the summer job grants. A day after that news, the donor stepped in to say he would provide the $35,000 the city needs and officials are scrambling to get the program up and running.
As our state leaders continue to struggle to provide funds for a host of important services our tax dollars should support, the private sector's role takes on added significance.
We thank this generous, unknown citizen for filling this gap and providing kids with these jobs.
A thorn to a group of Starkville residents who continue to fight efforts to develop a new industrial park even after a court ruling that approved the city's plans to re-zone the area in question. The group previously indicated its support for the project by selling options on the property, knowing full well what the end use would be.
The group -- LMK LLC, Bettye Bell, Mary S. Bell, Margaret Copeland and Laura B. White -- intends to appeal Judge Jim Kitchens' ruling this week to the state supreme court. While they have that right, we believe this is an unwise, fruitless and disingenuous effort that will serve only to delay this important project.
A rose to the Columbus Exchange Club for hosting a series of candidate forums heading into Tuesday's municipal elections. Beginning after the May primaries, the club hosted candidates for the mayor and city council during its weekly meetings. Because municipal elections tend to be low-profile affairs, the opportunities to "size up" candidates by hearing their plans and asking questions are few.
These forums helped members be the best kind of voters, informed voters. We thank the Exchange Club and the candidates who chose to participate. Now all that remains is for us to do our civic duty by going to the polls on Tuesday.
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