Letters To Editor – July 10, 2008

Remembering A Friend: Brownlow Jackson “Brownie” Crawford

 I came to know Brownie personally in the summer of 1989. At that time I was looking for work. After having been in sales and transportation for approximately fourteen years, I took a chance on talking to him about employment. Since that day, after a brief conversation with Brownie, my life has been fulfilled with his guidance. We (The Company) went through good and bad times over the years, but Brownie was always there for all of us, and I mean ALL of us. We had many, many men and women come and go during the nineteen years and I am sure all of them will always remember Brownie, who left us for a better place this past November 4th.

  I know each and everyone will always remember him as a complete motivator, always talking to each one, whether it be in a group or personally. You never had to ask for a scheduled meeting with him. All you had to do was walk into his office, sit down and say, “Brownie, I need to talk to you.” Whether it was job related or personal Brownie would have an answer 99% of the time for whatever problem it might be.

  To my knowledge, every person that ever worked for Brownie and Dorris have gone on to better themselves in the business world.

  The Crawford Family, Brownie, Dorris, Len, Lorri and Darrell (and even their siblings and their parents)  have all meant so much to me and many of the employees over the years, and I mean that from deep down.

  From the time we learned Brownie had cancer and was going to have surgery in Atlanta at Emory Hospital, many of our prayers were answered as we prayed (all were answered, just not exactly as we ask). We wanted to be with him in Atlanta, but there was just no way, but I don’t know how it worked out, but he had his surgery the week of the Poultry Convention in Atlanta in January 2000. A lot of us were there and we all gathered hoping for the best. I don’t know how this man (Brownie) held up the way he did, with what he had to go through over the next seven, almost eight, years.

  No one knows how much I miss this man as I do. I have always been used to walking into the office early in the morning and seeing him at his desk watching CNBC and the stock market. He always had the daily newspaper at the door of my office and taught me about world business other than the poultry side that we were in.

  Finally, to all the ones that were there for Brownie—Doctors, Nurses, Home Health Care, Churches, Friends and Family—Thank you all for being there.

  And to Brownie, We will always remember and love you and one day we will all be with you in the Big Sky.

  Loving and remembering you Daily,

  Richard Shelly, Robby & Dee

P.S.: Dorris,

  Thank you for keeping us going as we know that is what Brownie would want.

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BorgWarner Tax Exemption Necessary Expense

    Editor’s Note: The following letter was hand delivered to City Hall in time for last week’s city board meeting and was addressed to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The Herald is publishing the letter as part of our city board coverage.

    Dear Sirs and Madam:

  In recent weeks there has been much discussion in the community about BorgWarner’s recent request for a property tax exemption on certain manufacturing equipment located at the Water Valley production facility. I want to take this opportunity to express my support for such an exemption.

  I know that the City faces many budgeting issues, such as fuel costs, employee pay and insurance costs, and needed capital improvements, along with many other competing needs. Finding funding for all is difficult at best and most likely impossible without using reserve funds. Giving up any portion of tax revenues is hard to do and should only be done when concrete benefits for the citizens of Water Valley can be had in exchange.

  I believe that these benefits are many and in the long run far outweigh the short term loss of revenue. First, every main street merchant I have spoken with can attribute substantial business revenues to the employees of BorgWarner. These sales vary from 10 percent to over 30 percent of their gross revenue. Losing that volume would be disastrous for Main Street. Second, we have many families in our community that have both the husband and wife employed by BorgWarner. A loss of one wage for them would be severe but the loss of both would be an almost impossible event to overcome. Finally, the City should strive to attract new employers and to assist existing employers in maintaining and expanding their operations in any reasonable way. We must have and project a “business friendly” and “can do” attitude if we are to grow and expand our current manufacturing base and in the long run our property tax rolls.

  A vote for this property tax exemption is a vote for the merchants and working men and women of Water Valley and I pray that you give them every consideration as you decide this issue.

  Respectfully yours,

  Joseph Black, Jr., CPA

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