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Stimulus fix must be fair

When U.S. President Barack Obama talks about economic stimulus and reinvestment and recovery, does that apply to everyone or does politics play a too large role?

That is essentially what Lawrence County Commission President Jason Stephens wants to know in recent letters sent to state and national elected officials.

And Stephens is dead-on to be asking questions about a government initiative that was a concern from the beginning because it spent billions but without clear guidelines as to what gets funded and why.

Stephens cited several examples including Athens County’s $150 million award for a bypass project, while Lawrence County’s much-needed and long-promised bypass languishes in limbo.

When Obama says “shovel ready” he must have something else in mind. Lawrence County has a variety of projects that are ready to go and have been for years, only to be delayed by broken promises and dried-up funding.

How can you get more “shovel ready” than projects that have begun but then put on hold?

We have to wonder if Lawrence County is once again hurt by politicians’ inability to understand basic geography.

Far too often projects and funding are considered based solely on Lawrence County’s population and statistics without taking into into account that we are essentially a much larger metropolitan area that spans three states.

Taxpayers deserve to see clear answers on who gets what and why.

It is important that this is based truly on needs and benefits rather than political allegiances.