Jackson, CA — “Save Prospect Motors, Save Amador County” was the theme written across hundreds of signs at a Saturday rally in Jackson.
An overflow crowd poured into Amador Motors to support longtime owners Frank and Lori Halvorson who were forced to close the dealership last month after their accounts were frozen by GMAC. The event had aspects of a community rally and a rock concert as “Hey-Hey, Ho-Ho, Let´s tell GM not to go,” was one of the collective chants that attendees voiced together.
“Make no mistake, today we join together and pledge to do all we can for all the businesses that need our assistance in Amador County,” announced event organizer Jeff Mitchell, Publisher of the Ledger Dispatch. “We will do everything in our power, not just for Prospect Motors, but in the rich tradition that makes Amador County our home, our America.”
A handful of elected officials addressed the crowd, including former Jackson Mayor Keith Sweet who said the loss of Prospect Motors represents a loss of $100,000 in annual tax dollars for the city.
“I´m sure that all of the citizens of Jackson will join me in saying that this support, while taking place at the Halvorson family auto dealership, represents our entire community´s collective support for all of the families and businesses in distress,” said Sweet.
This number does not take into account the trickle down effect of the 80 employees losing their jobs, and not having the discretionary income to use at other local businesses.
Halvorson has been in talks with GMAC for the past three weeks, and told the crowd to a roaring applause, “We are still fighting very hard to make the opening of Prospect Motors a reality,”
“I am very happy to tell you that in the last four or five days, GMAC has done a 180 in their attitude,” he added.
The turnaround was attributed to phone calls and e-mails that community members have sent to GMAC, as well as TARP funding that has been made available to the automaker through the Federal Treasury.
“We´re going to keep fighting it, but we still have a ways to go,” said Halvorson. “Thanks again from the bottom of my heart, from myself and for my family.”
Supporters have been encouraging residents to send emails to Mark Laneve, Vice President of GM North American Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org; and to Barbara Stokel, head of GMAC, at email@example.com.
Written by BJ Hansen