To the Editor:
In a recent article in The Smoky Mountain News, Jackson County Commissioner Jack Debnam was quoted as saying that he did not believe in self-gratification. The Debnam quote went on to say “I would prefer the plaque say ‘built by and for the people of Jackson County.”’
Drawing from Commissioner Debnam’s statement from the closed session meeting of the county commissioners on Jan. 13, I would like to suggest that our current county commissioners do exactly what they say regarding the ongoing issue of what kind of “plaque” is installed in our new county library complex.
Over the past decade hundreds of people have donated time and money to create the new Jackson County Library. Taking Commissioner Debnam’s lead, I would like to take his idea one step further and suggest that a Scroll of Honor be created that lists all the individuals and businesses that converted a dream into a reality. The scroll could be appropriately designed, produced and hung in a prominent location, easily visible to anyone entering the Library Complex (the main Foyer, for instance).
It seems a shame to spend $1,000-$1,900 of taxpayers money for a small, fancy plaque that only honors a few county commissioners when a large, artistically designed scroll made of fine durable materials and protected by glass for a fraction of the cost would pay homage to the actual people and businesses whose effusive efforts actually went into the creation of the complex. We, the people of Jackson County, can create a permanent artifact that will be all-inclusive and thus honor the new library and newly renovated historic courthouse as an effort by the whole community. It would be something that we could all take pride in in honoring those who put their money and their energy where their mouths were and whose names have already been collected and documented in a book in the library‘s possession.
So, right on commissioner Debnam. I applaud your sentiments. But now let’s take action and dedicate this lovely historic landmark of ours “to the people of Jackson County,” name by name.