03/29/06 — A priority list: City is correct to focus on achievable goals

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A priority list: City is correct to focus on achievable goals

Goldsboro City Council members have a pretty tight priority list.

There aren’t too many projects on there, but the members say they are determined to make each one of them a reality in some form before the next decade is up.

And they are right. Setting only a few goals rather than reciting a laundry list of 500 is a much better plan if we want to see a brighter future for the city of Goldsboro.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps along the way. And one of the first and most pressing is money.

There are probably more than a few people in the city wondering how in the world Goldsboro is going to come up with the money not only to build a new recreation center at an estimated $10 million, but also to rebuild a Paramount Theater at about $12 million. And that does not even count finishing the new City Hall and funding the upgrades necessary to accomplish the revitalization downtown.

Like it or not, money — and taxpayers’ or the government’s willingness to provide it — will be big determinants in what will happen in the city of Goldsboro over the next decade.

So, like the City Council, those of us who live here have to think, too, about what we want and what we are willing to pay for in the coming years.

The priorities that the City Council and government leaders have set are very important. Without a direction, Goldsboro really will be adrift and the chances of capitalizing on the positives in this community will be slim.

And there is nothing wrong with setting our own sights high. There are many cities with a whole lot less to offer than Goldsboro who have turned what seemed like a bleak future into a prosperous, growing reality. Goldsboro already has many positives and some indications that there is reason to believe there will be room for growth ahead. Dreaming of a revitalized and bustling downtown is what we should be doing. All that is necessary now is to figure out how to turn those possibilities into realities.

And it seems the council and leadership in the city have that goal at the top of their list.

Addressing the “how” will be as important as handling the “what” over the next few months. The ideas will still need to flow, but they must be accompanied by the plan for how to make them happen.

And taxpayers as well as their elected representatives will need to be ready to think hard about what they want and how much they are willing to commit to get there.

Published in Editorials on March 29, 2006 10:36 AM