This morning as I was preparing to head to the MadisonYES office, I found myself thinking about the roots of the MadisonYES effort and how far we have come. I realized that unless you were involved in the effort, you could have no idea of the work that has gone into this effort, nor could you really understand our motivation.
MadisonYES started to become a reality in early January of this year, 219 days ago. During this period, dozens of Madison County citizens have donated literally thousands of hours to get us to this point in time. Today, we are just one week away from Election Day. Our efforts are beginning to bear fruit.
The volunteers of MadisonYES were also tasked with raising many thousands of dollars. Through corporate donations, receptions, cookouts, golf tournaments and individual donors, we have raised the necessary funding to run an above-average campaign. Additionally, an amazing amount of in-kind donations have been received.
All of this work and money was expended in an attempt to raise Madison County up.
You see, virtually everyone involved in this campaign has a vision for Madison County that we believe is obtainable. Expanding the sale of alcohol is not a silver bullet to end all woes, we know that. It is however, the elimination of yet another impediment to our potential growth.
We have heard people say that Madison County will never be able to be home to a chain restaurant like Applebee’s or Olive Garden for various reasons. Well, simply put, we don’t believe that. Right now, over 22,000 vehicles pass through Madison County daily on Interstate 10. That number will continue to increase. You can take that to the bank. Our Highway 53 exit off of Interstate 10 is already a huge business area for our county. All of our four exits have growth potential, especially the Highway 14 interchange, the one that is closest to the city of Madison.
Several people have also stated that the jobs created by this initiative will be minimum wage jobs, insinuating that those types of jobs are not important. Really? In a county that has documented unemployment at almost 11%, are there really any bad jobs? How do we expect our young people to get experience, if we do not provide for them entry level employment?
I know for a fact that three of our existing restaurants have plans for expansion when this vote passes. That equates to construction jobs and the addition of several more hospitality jobs.
We all share a love for Madison County. All we ask is that our business community be given a fighting chance.
So, with all this being said, the foundation for change has been laid. Now it’s your turn to act. Please make every effort to vote on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. Vote YES! Vote “FOR” the sale of alcohol over 6.243% and vote “FOR” the sale of alcohol by package and by the drink. Thank you.
Ted C. Ensminger