Commissioners: Logging could aid budget

Jackson County commissioners on Wednesday tried to put to rest rumors that they don't support the library system.

"I want to disabuse you of the idea we don't care ó we do care," said Commissioner C.W. Smith. "I do take umbrage at personal attacks."

Smith and Commissioner Jack Walker have received angry e-mails and phone calls from residents in the past month.

Walker said, "We all want a healthy library."

Smith and Walker both said they would like more support for opening up federal forestlands for logging as a way to increase the tax dollars flowing into the county.

"We have the solution," said Walker. "We just have to have the willingness to use it."

Smith said his parents came to Jackson County in 1938 looking for work and found it in the logging industry.

With so much of the land now untouched and prime for a devastating fire, he said it's a shame that Jackson County can't tap into this valuable resource.

"We are sitting unequivocally next to a gold mine," said Smith.

Commissioner Dave Gilmour said that as a timid child whose parents were teachers, he would go to the Carnegie library on his way home and load up an armful of books.

"I've had a lifelong respect for libraries," he said. "I place a great value in what it does to our culture."


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