To the editor:
I would like to address statements made recently by a Salem resident and by Councilman Clyde Brown concerning the proposed purchase of 170 acres to be used for an industrial park. The statements are both false or misleading and need to be corrected.
The "letter to the editor" stated the city should "fill" the other phases of our current industrial park before we purchase more land.
The fact is that there are no other phases to fill. Our industrial park has no lots for the city to sell to any interested party. We need more industrial land to expand our industrial base.
Further, the city would not be paying Mr. Swindell a "salary" of any kind. Mr. Swindell would, in fact, pay the city a very substantial amount each year to lease the drag strip, thus providing Salem with much needed revenue to be used for city projects.
In fact, Mr. Swindell actually would become our first tenant in the new industrial park starting in 2010.
When asked his opinion about purchasing the drag strip property, Mr. Brown was "doubtful" the property will be purchased, is "not sure" owning and leasing the drag strip for much needed revenue is serving the "best interests" of the people of Salem, and is "against" the economic development the land would bring unless it can be purchased by grants or stimulus money.
Compared to the statements the other three candidates made in the paper, Mr. Brown's overall commentary on the industrial park land purchase is one of rejection and negativity. Ironically, Mr. Brown has gone on record numerous times that he is for any promotion that leads to economic development.
His statements in the paper recently are certainly a flip-flop from any pro-active economic initiative that I have been working on as mayor for the past year. It certainly would be nice to have a full city council of positive members join with the administration to promote Salem's economic future.
MAYOR JERRY L.