EARLIER: What we think: The bid for Harley must stay the course

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By The Staff

Shelby County Fiscal Court continues to make bold statements to try to improve the position of the county’s recruitment of Harley-Davidson’s largest plant.

Likewise, we continue to commend that action as being the sort of creative thinking and aggressive process that are important to land the big fish of the manufacturing world.

For a county that has lost Leggett & Platt, has seen Martinrea become a skeleton and has watched other companies close their doors, Shelby needs its elected leaders to be just that – leaders.

They must continue to seize opportunity, to pursue new endeavors and to avoid the morass of politics as an antilubricant to the process.

Some citizens may be concerned, however, that due process is being evaded with such actions. In the case of rezoning land for Harley-Davidson, it is not.

First, any such zoning must pass the public-hearing review held by Triple S Planning & Zoning. We have seen in the past how volatile such sessions can be.

And should Triple S, after that review, endorse this change, it sill must be ratified again by Fiscal Court.

Though that would appear automatic, there is nuance to be considered that could affect that discussion.

There was an amendment to the original action, introduced by Magistrate Michael Riggs, that stated – in general terms – that if the deal for Harley-Davidson were to fall through, then the land in question – parcels north of I-64 and east and west of Joyes Station Road – would remain zoned as is (agricultural).

Fiscal Court passed that amendment.

That leaves us with the impression that any zoning change that were to flow out of Triple S must include that rider in specific and strong language. We agree that it should.

Magistrates have taken great care not to use the term Harley-Davidson in their conversations. Whether that is for semantic effect or for fear or jinxing the deal, we can’t be sure.

But we want to be sure of one thing: There is no rubberstamp here that would be left in place by the absence of the words Harley-Davidson that should change our landscape without returning to the due process that time has endorsed as reliable.

We’re all for recruiting the biggest and best. Harley-Davidson would be rated 5-star by Rivals, we are certain. No one we know is against that happening.

And outside of hiring John Calipari or Rick Pitino, depending on what colors you wear, the county continues to do its best recruiting job.

Let’s keep it moving, and let’s keep it straight for everyone to understand.