Jackson County Times

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Charles Holman and His “GIT-R-DONE !” Crew in Graceville

Teamwork in City Leadership Can Pay Off….Graceville Is an Example By Sid Riley

“GIT-R-DONE!”, that familiar phrase which was made popular by comedian Dan (Larry) Whitney as he portrays “Larry the Cable Guy”, would be an appropriate slogan for the team of civic leaders in Graceville as they function under the leadership of Mayor Charles Holman. They have certainly performed the tasks of recruiting jobs and developing infrastructure for future needs and growth in their community.

The elected leaders in Graceville are: Charles Holman, Mayor, Council Members, Walter Douglas Jr., David Horton, Tommy Williams, and Arthur Obar Jr.. They, along with City Manger Eugene Adams, have formed an effective team in the arenas of economic recruitment, business management, and grants acquisitions, which have been combined to “Get Er’ Done” for Graceville.

Local Graceville resident, Dan Fender, who periodically contributes writings to the Times, noted in one of his columns that the letter “P” has historically played an important symbolic role in the basis of the economy of Graceville. For years the “P” stood for the role our peanut farming industry played in the local economy. Then the letter took a new meaning as “Pine Trees” became very significant as Rex Lumber Company in Graceville flowered into a major industry. Today, the Graceville economic growth is being fostered by two new elements, both of which begin with the traditional Graceville “P”. These would be the growing economic influence of “Prayers” as the Baptist Bible College continues to grow and expand. Then there is another new jobs creating, “P” factor which has come upon the Graceville scene….. “Prisons”.

It was Holman and his team that enticed the new, privately owned prison to locate in the Graceville area, who put together the necessary “package” of infrastructure support required to finalize the deal, and who sold the concept to the business owners and the Graceville community. As a result, over 100 new jobs were brought to the county.

In order to provide the needed supporting infrastructure for these areas of growth, and the future needs of the town, the local civic leadership, including the active participation of Graceville City Manager, Eugene Adams, has been able to obtain the needed grants and funding for several needed projects. These improvements included, Significant improvements to City Storm Water System, a New elevated water tank for city water system, and numerous significant improvements to City Sewage systems. Currently under contract are projects involving three city parks, over two million dollars in sewage system upgrades, and many smaller grant funded projects, including items for the fire department and the police department.

For anyone who has never been involved, these types of changes do not just “happen”. They take hard work, planning, recognizing an opportunity and reacting to it, and good business practices. Under Holman’s leadership, the civic leaders and municipal management in Graceville have demonstrated those abilities. They have been assisted throughout this effort by support from their local business community, including West Florida Electric Cooperative, and Rex Lumber Company.

If Graceville had not been fortunate to have Charles Holman and his “Get Er’ Done” crew working on the city’s behalf, just imagine the economic plight which would have developed in that thriving community. We tip our hat to all of those involved for a “job well done”. They deserve another “P”…..a “Pat on the Back” from Graceville residents.

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