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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Jebaily a champion of downtown, the city and its people

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Jebaily a champion of downtown, the city and its people

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Jebaily a champion of downtown, the city and its people

I am writing this letter today to the great citizens of Florence and offering the reasons why I support George Jebaily as our next mayor.

In 2000, I sat in a town hall meeting at Poyner and heard about the 2010 project, presented by Jebaily, a vision for revitalizing our downtown. “A performing arts center, restaurants, boutiques, other specialty shops, and maybe even a boutique hotel. ...” He spoke enthusiastically about downtown Florence and how great of a city we could one day become.

Yes, these were all just ideas at the time that were being tossed around. And yes, there were many naysayers at that time who said none of this would ever happen, but I left that meeting that evening in January distinctively thinking — why not?

Why not a Wholly Smokin’, FlowTown Yoga, Dolce Vita, Birds Nest; Mi Ladies, MainStream, Ella’s and Mosaic Boutique? Why not the FMU Performing Arts Center, Florence Little Theater, Florence County Library, Town Hall Restaurant and Victors? Why not Hotel Florence, Hyatt Place, a Police Substation, WBTW News 13? Why not? And the list continues to grow.

And so here we are in 2020 with a vision firmly put forth and realized.

In the past 10 years, more than $200 million dollars has been invested in our downtown. This has come from both public and private monies of some very hard-working people who have given of their time, money, blood, sweat and tears to make this all a reality.

And George Jebaily is counted among those of us who have made this happen.

We all live by the Roman poet Virgil’s simple but profound phrase: “They can because they think they can,” as believers and investors within our community and our downtown. We all have a passion for this community, the people who live within it and a passion for its continued growth.

Jebaily has served this community in many capacities as lawyer, activist, developer and city councilman, and I am certain his resume is chock-full of many more accomplishments that I am not even aware of.

But this I do know: When I think of George Jebaily, the words that immediate come to mind include kind, generous, compassionate, empathetic, a great listener, visionary, leader and most importantly friend. I am more than proud to call this man my friend, a champion of downtown, a champion of the city of Florence, a champion for all of the people of this wonderful community.

In this regard and mindset, I fully endorse George Jebaily as our next mayor of this great city of Florence.

DR. JOHN A. KEITH III

Florence

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