VDT on Lofton Leaving

What’s Brad Lofton’s legacy?

The VDT finally published something today about Brad Lofton moving to Myrtle Beach, apparently mostly drawing on the same SC newspaper story LAKE picked up on last Thursday, with some material from the second SunNews story of Friday. The VDT did add some local interviews:

Jerry Jennett, chairman of the Industrial Authority, feels that Lofton has brought a number of great projects into the area, including the Home Depot expansion, Martins Famous Pastry Shoppe, Smith Drugs and Valdosta Optics Lab Inc.

“When you hire good people to work for you and they go on with their career, you have to be proud of them for doing better for themselves,” said Jennett. “I’ve been in tune with just about everything he’s done for us. He may not have approached things in the way I would have, but when you try and make people do stuff exactly the way you want to, you completely wash out any chance of new ideas or progressive actions, and Mr. Lofton has done a lot for this community.”

Well, those all sound like good projects and good jobs. Although I do wonder why Chairman Jennett didn’t list the Wiregrass Solar project. And we already remarked Thursday that he’s Movin’ on up.

But what’s that over Mayor Fretti’s shoulder in the VDT photograph of the Wiregrass Solar groundbreaking? Why, it’s a protest sign against the biomass plant! The VDT asked Lofton about that:

Lofton wanted to clarify that he was not leaving Valdosta because of the Wiregrass Power LLC biomass facility and the controversy surrounding the project.

“My move had absolutely nothing to do with the biomass plant or any of the stresses involved with that project,” said Lofton. “We’ve announced 17 new projects since I began, with over 2,000 new jobs and almost $500 million in economic development in the area, so I’m hoping that the biomass project is not my legacy.”

Wait, after all the effort he’s spent pushing the biomass project, why doesn’t he want it to be his legacy? Is there perhaps some downside to the biomass plant?

I wonder if VDT or VLCIA will get around to correcting their incorrect history?


Update 2:38 PM 15 March 2011: Added missing link to VDT story.