FAST lobbying efforts in area's best interests

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, March 31, 2004

By Staff
A lot of times a word is used over and over in a negative context for so long that it becomes difficult to think about it in anything other than a bad light. One such word, for better or for worse, is "lobbyist."
Much of the time we hear the word used, it's in conjunction with an even more reviled phrase, "special interests," which is often spat disgustedly by those hoping to stir the passions of voters. This has been going on for so long that it's hard to think the word lobbyist without imagining a slick, glad-handing behind-the-scenes operator, wining and dining our elected leaders into doing something for the sake of making a select few people happier, or richer.
And you know what? Very often that's exactly what the word "lobbyist" means, making our feelings about it justified.
In fact, about the only time you can really feel good about a lobbyist is when he or she is your lobbyist, something we'll all have, in a roundabout way, very soon. The Florida-Alabama Strategic Task Force (FAST), of which Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings is chairman, is in the process of hiring a lobbyist to represent its interests in Washington.
It's interests? Seeing Highways 87 (Florida) and 41 expanded to allow for better traffic flow during hurricane evacuations.
Doing this would not only help thousands remove themselves from a dangerous situation -- it would also help Brewton and East Brewton industrial development efforts by providing us direct access to I-65, a powerful lure to large businesses.
So the FAST lobbyist, for all intents and purposes, will be our lobbyist.
And we're wishing him the best of luck.

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