DALTON, GA. (WRCB) -- Dalton Mayor David Pennington III fires back at a New York Times article printed August 20.
"I thought it was exemplary journalism, but it's not," Pennington says. "I wonder if all the other reports on other cities are true."
Pennington says the article, referencing the double-digit high unemployment in the city doesn't paint a vivid picture of a city he calls, "thriving," despite hardships.
"Things have been tough here but overall, we are better off than most parts of the country because we have a manufacturing base."
Dalton is among the highest in the state with more than 12-percent of it's eligible workforce unemployed.
The article pulled U.S. Labor statistics citing nearly 5,000 lost jobs over the past year.
Pennington claims many of those were out-of-town workers.
"I know that is just totally false. What people need to understand is we feel for these people. But a lot of the people who were laid off, don't even live here," Pennington says.
Development Director, Kelly Fletcher says the nail in the coffin was at the end of the article saying quote, "Now, downtown holds not much more than three pawn shops, an espresso bar that plays Christian soft rock."
"It is more of a survival story," says Fletcher. "Even with the tough times we have kept many businesses open."