County should extend giving spirit overseas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Are Americans stingy? A U.N. leader recently bashed the United States and other world powers for their "stinginess" when relief efforts began in wake of the recent deadly tsunami. After starting at $15 million, the U.S. quickly upped the ante to more than $350 million promised and more if needed.

We certainly do not think Americans, or Lawrence Countians for that matter, are stingy but several recent Internet polls have us wondering if some residents are refusing to release the grips on their pocketbooks long enough to see the big picture.

Every few days, we post an online poll on our Web site at In recent weeks financial topics have been the focus and we have been surprised at some of the results. However, it should be noted that these polls are completely unscientific and may or may not be representative of the entire community.

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Without going into specific results, less than half of the people polled said they would be willing to pay fees or taxes to promote economic development, provide Ironton with a working surplus or provide more police protection within the city.

More recently, we asked if readers were going to make a donation to help with the tsunami relief. More than half of the respondents answered "No," with another 20 percent unsure.

In these tough economic times, we understand times are hard for many in Ironton and all of the county. And yes, city leaders can probably do more to operate efficiently and live within their means. Still, if the county is going to move forward it will take a unified effort. As the old saying goes, "You have to spend money to make money." The same applies to economic development and building a community where businesses and people want to locate.

Residents can expect elected leaders to try to make lemonade from lemons, but what if they don't even have any fruit?

When looking at the tsunami opinions, we are more at a loss for an explanation. Maybe people think the countries affected are a world away and the problem does not concern them.

Tragedy of this magnitude concerns all human beings. We know Lawrence Countians are generous and forward thinking. Let's prove it.

If it means that we all have to tighten our budgets for one week, so be it. Every single dollar counts and Lawrence Countians need to do their part to help in the relief efforts and local initiatives for progress as well.

Contact the Red Cross, UNICEF or any of dozens of other local and national charitable organizations that are lending a helping hand.

Though we may not be in danger of being hit with a tsunami, the natural disaster shoe could very easily be on the other foot. If we don't do our part now, how can we expect anyone to help us?