James Landrum

My wife and I have lived in Palestine for almost 20 years. We have significant concerns about the leadership and direction of this community.

Recent turnover in city leadership reflects on several areas that must be addressed to take a healthy and positive direction in growth and prosperity. Strong leadership is necessary to provide clear direction in all areas of city service to our residents.

Addressing these issues isn't easy. Having successful leadership starts with electing those who possess backgrounds with successful business and/or proven professional leadership.

These requisites must also be utilized when hiring and promoting members of the team.

New hires should be interviewed, including consideration of his or her long-term potential to advance into roles that address succession needs. Training and mentoring by strong leadership will be their key to success, a positive work environment, and the satisfaction of city customers – the taxpayers who provide the financial resources.

Key to the success of leadership requires managing a properly planned budget, making sure wastes of money and other resources are eliminated. All expenditures must be reviewed and approved by top leadership.

Trust by city customers must be earned – just as it must be earned in any other business.

Arbitrary increases in property assessments, taxes, and service fees must be an absolute last resort. Moreover, customers will always consider these increases as unjustified, if they can’t trust the decisions of city leaders and see the results of proper stewardship of resources.

Over the last 20 years, this city's population has increased by less than 1,500. Meantime, several hundred manufacturing jobs have been lost, due to plant closures and relocations.

To promote population growth, along with a stronger community and tax base, economic development must include recruiting businesses who provide manufacturing jobs and attractive wages.

Service industries and other lower-paying jobs support a good economy, but long-term growth requires businesses and employees who help to build a strong financial base for opportunities and prosperity. This is evident when we look at successful cities throughout the country.

Strong leadership and a focus on good business decisions will result in an attractive environment for population and financial growth!

James Landrum,

Vice President, General Manager (retired), Nucor Corporation


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