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Leaders make right choice over easy one

&uot;A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be."

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Rosalynn Carter, wife of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Truer words may not have ever been spoken. If leadership was easy, everyone would be good at it, but that is far from the truth.

Being a great leader requires making tough, and often unpopular decisions, that all work towards the greater good. Maybe it is still far removed from greatness, but the Lawrence County Commissioners stepped up Thursday and distinguished themselves by showing they aren't afraid to strive to be better leaders by resisting pressure to make the popular decision.

The dilemma began a few weeks ago when Burlington residents began to speak out against Huntington Marine Services’ proposed barge

facility on the Ohio River in Westmoreland, W.Va., that could affect residents of Burlington and Chesapeake.

Community members in Burlington and Westmoreland have expressed concerns about what the facility would do to their neighborhoods such as bring noise, dust, bright lights, soil problems and river traffic.

Citizens had asked the commissioners to write to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to express the elected leaders' opposition to the plan. Though that would have been the easy answer, the commissioners made the right choice by standing their ground and refusing to oppose the plan.

All three commissioners said they couldn't oppose something that could bring jobs to the community and benefit The Point industrial park in South Point. We applaud the leaders for looking at the big picture and thinking about the needs of the entire county.

We certainly understand how the Burlington and Chesapeake residents feel and sympathize with them, but if our county is to have any chance of prospering, we must be willing to go against the status quo.

So far, we have not seen any evidence that the facility will do anything to actually harm the environment or the communities. If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers signs off on the plan then the community should welcome the company with open arms.

Time will tell how the situation will unfold but we applaud our elected leaders for showing the tenacity to vote their heart on this matter.

By considering the needs of the many over the needs of the few, the politicians may have shown they care about more than votes.