11/08/08 — Governing N.C.: Perdue will need to recognize what her win really means

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Governing N.C.: Perdue will need to recognize what her win really means

This message is for our new Governor-elect Bev Perdue.

We know you know that it was not the big city voters who pushed you over the top in the governor's race -- and that the votes that were cast for you in this part of the state were not given simply because you hail from around here.

This community and others like it supported your candidacy in part because we think you will not forget that a successful state requires more than thriving big cities and expansive economic development efforts and infrastructure funding for urban areas.

We are counting on you to work for all North Carolinians -- and to govern with the state's future in mind, especially when it comes to our military installations.

But we expect more than that.

There were many of us who weren't sure we wanted a Democrat back in the governor's mansion. A lot of confidence in the party and its ability to police itself was destroyed when we watched so many Democrats fall and continued to hear questionable decision-making out of some of the leaders still in power.

And then there are the messes that were made by Democratic leaders in the areas of mental health reform and the management of transportation contracts.

That suggested that perhaps a change might have been a better course.

But we saw something in you, something we hope is different.

We saw someone who was frustrated by the actions of some of her colleagues and determined not to make their mistakes. We saw someone who was ready to put her state's citizens first -- even if that means she has to shake up a few power brokers.

So we expect you to stand up as the state's leader and put the good old boy network on notice -- we don't do business the same way in North Carolina anymore.

We like that you are promising to eliminate waste in government and that you intend to keep a close eye on those who run the offices and bureaus we deal with every day. We trust that you will hold them accountable for the service they provide and the money they spend.

We trust that you get that we are not going to sign a blank check for programs in North Carolina and that we expect you to treat our tax money like your own bank account. We expect you to take a leadership role in the issues that matter to us -- schools, jobs, health care -- and to realize that funding for improvements should come equally from fixing what's broken and cutting back unnecessary expenses, not from taxpayers' wallets.

In other words, we hope you are the kind of change candidate that Republicans and Democrats can respect.

And that brings up another thought.

Consider listening to some of Pat McCrory's ideas for the future of this state -- as well as any other suggestion that might come from the Republicans in your House and Senate.

North Carolina could be a model for other states to follow when it comes to getting the job done well -- together -- and not letting partisan gloating get in the way of progress.

And last but not least, we expect to see you -- regularly -- and to hear that you are meeting with and talking to North Carolinians from the mountains to the coast and everywhere in between.

We don't want to have to make jokes about our governor's "fogged in" helicopter anymore.

Congratulations on your victory. It was a historic achievement.

Now, please, get busy earning those votes -- and validating our trust.

Published in Editorials on November 8, 2008 11:47 PM