Eric Wilson is the first Forsyth mayor in a generation who will be re-elected, and it seems to be well-deserved. He qualified without opposition last month.

The owner of Med Pro has helped the city demonstrate a more business-friendly attitude and the downtown is doing better than it has in a long time. Some of the credit for that, of course, goes to our thriving national economy, a credit to the pro-growth policies of President Trump. But certainly Wilson has the same free market ideas as the president, as opposed to the controlling, stifling, smothering attitude Democrats take to business.

Alas, the story on page 2A about Castleberry Drug’s vain attempt to employ solar energy seems to show there’s still room for improvement at City Hall. Former Castleberry owner Scott Tyree told our reporter Diane Glidewell that the city had given him approval to install solar panels so that he could be more environmentally-friendly and reduce his power bill. Only after he spent $42,000 on the solar panels did the city change its mind and bar him from turning them on.

That is wrong. A frustrated Tyree finally wound up having to sell Castleberry. He told Glidewell that he loved Forsyth but said that the city council was “crap”. 

What would cause the city to mislead Tyree and reverse course after he spent $42,000?

It probably has something to do with the city’s cozy relationship with the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG). Power is the city’s biggest source of revenue, and since most council members aren’t experts in the power business, MEAG really has the city over a barrel. We’re contracted to buy our power from MEAG for the foreseeable future. MEAG hosts nice retreats for our city fathers (and their families) every year and entertains them more at Georgia Municipal Association meetings.

Perhaps it’s a good relationship. Perhaps not. The point is that our mayor and council are supposed to represent we the people of Forsyth, not the grandees from the power conglomerate. 

The city’s first job is not to ensure it has an ever-increasing stream of revenue from city power customers. Let’s hope in his second term that Mayor Wilson and council, including whomever wins two contested council races this fall, learns to be more responsive to city residents and business owners than to MEAG.

Otherwise, next time a city representative tells you that Forsyth is a “green” city, remind them that it appears there’s only one green the city cares about, and it’s not renewable energy. It’s the dollar.

•••

Word is that Mary Persons star running back and defensive back Rico Harden will be out for this Friday’s game at Lovett and next week’s game against Peach County after injuring his leg in the win over Morrow. Drats. Harden is widely thought to be the Bulldogs’ best player. Let’s hope he’ll be 100 percent when the Bulldogs go to Spalding for the region opener on Oct. 4. MP may be 2-1, but those who’ve seen the games know we’ll need all hands on deck if we’re to win our fifth straight Region 2-AAAA title. 

•••

The hardest part of this job is having to report news of friends getting into trouble. This week is one of the worst. Obviously, alcohol makes people do things they would not normally do. Readers of this newspaper know that we print facts no matter who you are. That’s why people trust us. If you’re arrested in this county, it’s going into the Reporter. As it should. At the same time, I believe in second, third and fourth chances. I love to see people changed by God’s forgiveness and love. He who is forgiven little, loves little, said Jesus. The truth is important. Newspapers should report the truth. But in a healthy community, truth leads first to justice, the legal side, and then, on the relational side, to forgiveness and growth, not condemnation and guilt. Events such as these give us the opportunity to be a healthy community.