Editorial: Three cheers

Oct. 18, 2013 @ 11:21 PM

A collaborative effort

During one of the ugliest government standoffs in recent memory, it was nice to see state and municipal governments working together for the good of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, area merchants and residents earlier this week.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters, Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell, state legislators and Gov. Bill Haslam worked together to find a temporary solution to the closing of the National Park — which was affecting the area each day the federal shutdown continued.

While the park was only open one day under the plan before a deal was reached in Washington, the measure showed the can-do attitude officials can take when their constituents demand action.

Bravo to all the officials involved in the plan to get our park back online.

A helping hand up

Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries recently launched a brave effort help families in crisis find affordable housing solutions.

Hearts to Home is Sevier County’s first program to establish permanent, supportive housing for people living in substandard conditions. SMARM has partnered with several area churches to make it happen.

According to SMARM, Sevier County has hundreds of people — including children — live in deplorable, unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

The organization, along with its partners, will provide the backing necessary to see them into acceptable housing.

In a community without a homeless shelter, it’s a welcome addition for those less fortunate.

Putting in the time

With the force short-staffed for several months now after some summer turmoil resulted in five open positions, Pigeon Forge police officers have stepped up to fill the city’s needs admirably.

Working long hours and extra shifts, the officers have covered the demands of a busy tourist city during one of the busiest times of the year.

Now, with the holiday season upcoming and the city still in search of new officers, they’ll continue that expanded workload through another hectic time of year.

Hopefully Pigeon Forge officials can get background checks completed and hire five qualified officers or trainees prior to their approaching window at the state police academy in January.