This letter is to all voters. As you head to the voting booth in the coming weeks for the November 2018 election, I’d like to urge you to pay close attention to the “Special Election” question regarding “Extension of Freeport Tax Exemption to E-Commerce Fulfillment Centers.” On behalf of the Board of Directors, we urge you to vote “YES.”
The State of Georgia and Burke County already offer “Freeport exemptions” to many industries, allowing them to exempt property taxes on certain types of inventory that they manufacture or handle directly. A vote “YES” to approve this local exemption would extend this same benefit to “e-commerce” fulfillment centers such as Amazon or Wal-Mart.
As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, more and more businesses are in need of building and operating fulfillment centers to get their products to their customers. Approving this local incentive would give a business another reason to consider locating their fulfillment center in Burke County, creating jobs and investment in our community. Many counties in Georgia have already approved this measure, and a vote “YES” would ensure that Burke County remains competitive in the hunt to attract business and industry to our community.
As always, thank you for your support and partnership in continuing to enhance the economic growth of Burke County.
Robin Baxley, President
Burke County Chamber of Commerce
I am glad we have a month to reflect on infant lives lost. Our lives changed forever in November 2005 when no heartbeat was detected in our unborn son, William Tyndale Cox, in my pregnancy’s sixth month. We urge others to talk with their doctors about their risk of stillbirth so that any needed care can be given. As the gentle elephant of Seuss said, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” These small persons leave supersized marks on the lives of their fathers, mothers and other loved ones.
As we remember these little lives, let us not forget the 1,584 Burke County babies whose lives were taken from 1994-2017 with the sanction of our nation’s laws and Supreme Court decisions, at the hands of their mothers and doctors, hands charged above all not to do harm but to nurture and protect. Hands that should have held and loved these little ones rather than snuff out their lives before they could gaze upon the world outside the womb, cry a tear or giggle a baby laugh.
These 1,584 children would fill 22 school buses. Twelve times more babies have been killed through abortion than have died through fetal mortality (death after 20 weeks and born still), and 15 times more through this legal choice than through infant mortality (death after birth through 364 days). Many, many more babies are murdered legally through abortion than die from other causes. In a civilized nation, this ought not to be. Our value under the law should never be determined by whether we are convenient or wanted.
In Jeremiah 19:5-9 ancient Israel was taken to task for child sacrifice. “Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind…I will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds.” Like ancient Israel, America cannot expect God’s blessing as long as babies are legally being murdered. Our family prays this heinous practice will end. We urge our community to stand against it also with their actions and words.
As CEO of Burke Medical Center, I wish to publicly thank Dr. Frank Carter, Dr. Johnny Christian, Dr. Mark Gresham, Dr. Shelley Griffin, Dr. Joe Jackson, Jr., Dr. Larry Jackson, Sr., Dr. Bonnie Jenkins, and Dr. Harvey Sanders.
Caring for our community is a team effort. Were it not for the professional interest taken by our physician community, the staff at Burke Medical Center would not be as good as they are. These doctors have given of themselves tirelessly, and unselfishly, to train one of the finest staffs I have been around. Thank you doctors for your investment in this teams’ skills, talents and abilities.
I am confident that if asked, these fine physicians would acknowledge they have built upon a solid foundation they were privileged to inherit. For through these doors have walked some giants in the medical field. Many of our staff began their training under Dr. Miller Byne Jr., Dr. Charles Green Sr., Dr. Randy Hensley, Dr. Lamar Murray, Dr. Walter Voyles and Dr. John R. Palmer, to name but a few. It is a proud legacy.
To be sure, the practice of medicine has changed since our doors opened in 1951. The art of medicine, however, remains consistent. The ability of our doctors to bring their knowledge and skills to our side and with compassion, map out a course for our healing – whatever form of healing that may be – and to do so day in and day out without fail is far more than a personal vocation. It is an honorable calling.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are giants with us still.
Thank you, doctors.