We Have To Demand Change — By Tommy Purser

I felt for Landon Chavis as I sat in the back of the City Council’s meeting room last Thursday. The young, homegrown business owner, who put down his roots in downtown Hazlehurst hoping for a bright and prosperous future, was at the meeting to ask for some help.
He looked around and saw downtown’s shortcomings that I and so many others have seen for years.  Landon made an impressive presentation. He dreams of seeing a beautiful, attractive downtown worthy of drawing our community together in celebration of the town we love.
He wants to see a vibrant downtown, hustling and bustling with activity, good cheer,  togetherness, a living and breathing testament to the strength of community.
I share that dream and I am not alone.
But the Mayor and City Council don’t share our dream. And that’s sad.
When I was a member of the council, I tried to push for my and others dreams but was thwarted. Pushed aside. My frustration with that and other resistance to progressive, forward thinking ideas and mindsets … and myriad other frustrations led to my decision not to seek reelection.
Citizens who want a vibrant downtown, decent drinking water (that’s a frustrating story for another column), need not look to city hall for solutions. We have to band together to demand change. To work for change. To build our community’s future. To elect effective leadership. To roll up our sleeves and go to work. We can’t rely on others but, rather, we have to fight for the future of Hazlehurst ourselves.
I talked to someone this week who has been fiercely fighting that fight but, like me, has been thwarted at every turn. I feel her pain, her frustration, her sense of hopelessness. She and I need your help.
If you care.

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