This week, it was announced that the Department of Defense has awarded Albemarle Corporation a $90 million grant to restart their lithium mining operation in Kings Mountain – along perhaps the only source of hard rock lithium in the United States.
Our new City Manager Jim Palenick said that “we’re definitely going to look out for the best interests of our community” and he thinks “that’s a policy question for our city council.”
He couldn’t be more right.
Including the $90 million grant, the federal government has set aside $240 million at this point to invest in Kings Mountain for the lithium mine. There is considerable federal and state pressure to make this mine happen.
That means that our City Council – in our little town – is in the driver’s seat. Nothing can happen without them.
Our Council is the one who will approve a special permit for mining. And they are the ones who will be in the position to secure guarantees – and concessions – from Albemarle and other partners.
When the casino came to town, our Council turned their heads and let it happen without securing a single thing for our community. No revenue sharing. No investments. Nothing. Just another purchaser of utilities.
When Albemarle comes to town, our Council has another opportunity.
So our question is…
Who do you want sitting on your City Council when these important decisions have to be made?
The same long-time politicians like Keith Miller and Jay Rhodes who have spent a decade looking out for themselves and their own interests? Or new and fresh voices with the community’s interest in mind?
The same long-time politicians like Keith Miller and Jay Rhodes who dropped the ball on the casino and secured nothing?
The same long-time politicians who dropped the ball on energy and made us pay more?
Or new, qualified leaders who have the experience, the temperament and the conviction to look out for Kings Mountain taxpayers first?
Our City Manager is correct – important decisions have to be made over the next several years.
We need competent, qualified leaders who will look out for us rather than themselves. We do not have the confidence in the long-time members of the Council to do what is right. That’s why we desperately need change before these decisions have to be made.