Guest Editorial: Support our hospital and our economic development

Please go out to vote and vote YES for county support of Jefferson Hospital.  The need for a local community hospital is clear.  If our hospital did not exist, local healthcare would be lost as well as resulting in our whole community/county suffering greatly.  In the event of trauma and emergency, I shudder at the thought of having to drive or be transported at least 25 miles (29 minutes) to some other hospital.
In economic development, site selectors and consultants (those who bring projects to the state and local levels) find land and buildings first.  With ample available sites and buildings in each of 159 counties in Georgia, it then becomes site ‘elimination’ instead of site selection.  
“What negative thing does that community have so we can take them out of consideration?”  
Not having a hospital and quality health care would put Jefferson County at a severe disadvantage for economic development, growth, and stability.  
After most sites are eliminated and the prospect has narrowed their search to just a couple of communities, they begin to look at other aspects of the community such as education, demographics and statistics, labor force, quality of life, recreation, utilities, transportation/logistics, business and industry climate, tax structure, and incentives. Things that contribute to a better ‘quality of life’ include climate, pace of life, healthcare (hospital), amenities, culture, and history and heritage. Most, if not all, development authority websites have a page for ‘quality of life’ and all have a ‘healthcare (hospital)’ section on that page. Our hospital enhances opportunities for economic growth and stability.  
In today’s challenging business/industry environment, businesses are burdened with legislative issues, mushrooming regulations, and ever increasing mandated requirements.  Let’s not hinder our growth and well-being by losing our hospital and quality health care.  Without a local hospital and quality health care, it is NOT likely for future growth and development from potential employers.  The need is clear, the investment is small, and the return is substantial.
Kind Regards,
Greg Sellars
Executive Director
Development Authority of Jefferson County