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Eades endorses call for economic boycott of county

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  • lilsteve68@aol.com
    Eades endorses call for economic boycott of county By Nellann Mettee Staff Writer Williamson Am FRANKLIN — A candidate for the county s top job has told a
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2002

      Eades endorses call for economic boycott of county
      By Nellann Mettee Staff Writer  Williamson  Am

      FRANKLIN — A candidate for the county's top job has told a commentator on the national Civil War Internet site that he agrees with the call for a limited economic boycott of Williamson County.

      County Commissioner Chuck Eades says his e-mail in support of the boycott was an attempt to moderate a ''total draconian and permanent economic boycott'' called for by Civil War enthusiasts disgusted with the county commission's decision to build a new county library near the epicenter of fighting in the 1864 Battle of Franklin.

      Preservationists had asked commissioners to move the site from the tennis courts to the football field and retain the tennis court area as open space.

      Joe Avalon of Civil War Interactive (www.civilwarinteractive.com) last week called for Civil War enthusiasts to ''spend to their hearts content on the grounds of Carter House and Carnton (Plantation), but not a penny anywhere else in Williamson County.''

      Avalon called the library ''an extravagant outrage'' and suggested that financial and construction company links to library board members or County Executive Clint Callicott were behind the decision to build at Battle Ground Academy.

      ''The Williamson County commissioners have sent notice — 'We're arrogant, we're greedy, we're egotistical, and we don't give a damn what anyone thinks''' Avalon wrote.

      In Eades' response to Avalon, he thanked him for bringing nationwide attention to the county's situation and added, ''Williamson County needed that slap in the face.''

      ''There's nothing we can do to stop this thing. It's too far along,'' Eades said. ''The best thing we can do is try to focus it.''

      Moreover, the suggested limited boycott might be the ''right medicine to get the attention of economic-development-at-any-cost special interest group,'' Eades wrote Avalon.

      ''The greed in this county drives everything,'' Eades concluded.

      Eades, who voted to move the library, said he suggested hitting the hotel-motel tax because it would least likely affect others, namely those municipalities that have worked to preserve heritage an save historic sites.

      Most recent figures show the county collected about $1.46 million in hotel-motel tax money in a year, according to David Coleman, county budget director.

      But Eades' opponents in today's county executive race say they wouldn't support the limited economic boycott on the county.

      In fact, County Commission Chairman Rogers Anderson said he was surprised with Eades' reaction.

      ''I'm surprised that my opponent would support any form of boycott of Williamson County,'' said Anderson, who voted to leave the library on the tennis courts. ''The county commission, during its meeting, gave due considerations of the interested of all parties.''

      Former County Commissioner Rodney Hopper, another candidate in this race, says he would have voted to move the library, but doesn't think a limited boycott is the solution to the problem.

      ''I think the point's already been proven,'' Hopper said of attention the library has gotten in local newspapers. ''Tourism brings big bucks into this county.''

      Hopper does agree, however, that the county has ''much room for improvement'' in how it ''safeguards'' historic resources.

      ''Part of (Eades') philosophy is also part of mine,'' Hopper said. ''I think there needs to be a change.

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