08/30/05 — Bring your ideas: Neighborhood meetings can open an essential dialogue

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Bring your ideas: Neighborhood meetings can open an essential dialogue

It didn’t take a lot for Goldsboro Mayor Al King and City Manager Joe Huffman to admit that there are still problems that need to be solved in the city.

After all, just about every municipality in the United States has issues it needs to work on, and Goldsboro is no exception.

What is different, and requires more than a little bravery, is gathering up your city staff and your city council members and heading out to Goldsboro’s neighborhoods to find out just exactly what those who live there think those problems are.

No one wants to be faced with angry residents with an agenda. And, hopefully, when the city’s neighborhood meetings get going, there won’t be too many of those. This is not a time for more unproductive finger-pointing and name-calling.

This is a chance for a bunch of people who care about the future of this community to come forward, state their case and be part of making a difference in what will become of not only Goldsboro, but Wayne County as well.

King and Huffman want you to speak up and tell them the truth. They really want to know what bothers you in your neighborhood. If it is litter or storm drainage, they want to hear and see where your concern lies. If it is drugs and crime, they want your ideas on how the city can join with you to send the criminals packing.

Come with a list and come with a can-do attitude. Express frustration with past inactivity if that is what you think is necessary, but make sure you also come with ideas for the future.

It might take a village to raise a child, but it takes a whole lot more than just a few elected officials to take care of a city and a county.

Now is the chance for this community to come together and address not just what’s wrong here, but how we can all work together to solve those issues — or at least make a dent.

Without a plan and a committed group of citizens, politicians and city personnel are really powerless. If this community doesn’t want to change what’s wrong, there is no magic bullet that will come and erase every problem.

And there is no way simply to ignore the problem areas, either. They affect us all.

The neighborhood meetings will open up a dialogue between city officials and residents and get us all thinking about the future.

And there is no better time than now to start talking.

Published in Editorials on August 30, 2005 10:23 AM