Mayor Whitaker addressed Veterans banners

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Greenville Mayor Jeff Whitaker (Gaylen Blosser photo)

By Mayor Jeff Whitaker

In order to address the many concerns and statements that have been expressed over the past few days regarding the Veterans banners in downtown Greenville, I want to apologize for the lack of communication on this matter.  To reiterate, it was the final decision made by the entire Main Street Greenville Board to put those banners back up onto the light poles downtown.

With the upcoming procession honoring Harley Alexander, the World War II Veteran who was killed on June 8, 1944 and whose body was returned home for burial in New Madison, it was determined to do so.

To be very clear, everyone serving on this board has given a great deal of their time and energy and is totally dedicated to the success of our downtown and the City of Greenville.   We work together as a team, and have always worked for the success of our events over the years in providing enjoyable moments and memories for the families living in Greenville and the surrounding communities.

It has been a pleasure to be a part of Main Street Greenville for the past 6 1/2 years, and as such, I have served on the Design Committee along with a few others on the board. Ideas began coming forth to revise the program and place banners throughout downtown to promote the many events that occur annually.

It was my suggestion to then place the Veterans’ banners throughout the park. I take full responsibility for that idea. While there had been discussions with multiple entities about these ideas, none have been finalized as of yet. Ideas are floating around amongst some, including myself, to feature BOTH of these types of banners downtown, with more Veterans banners continuing down North Broadway, to the Garst Museum, and throughout our beautiful park, all in an effort to permanently honor our Veterans.

The fact of the matter is that Main Street Greenville is a tremendous asset to the City of Greenville, our businesses, and the community. Discussions regarding the board members and executive director that occurred in the past week were totally false. Many ideas have since been discussed on how best to repair any damaged relationships.

Truth is, the Main Street Greenville Board consists of a selfless group of local business owners, governmental leaders, and highly respected individuals. Our recently modified statement of “Building Community Downtown” is at the forefront of every idea, event, or project. We are going to forget any mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future for the betterment of our entire community.  Thank you.  ~ Mayor Jeff Whitaker