06/06/04 — Price promises to help gain jobs

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Price promises to help gain jobs

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 6, 2004 2:03 AM

If re-elected, Wayne County Commissioner Atlas Price promises to help the county add new jobs to replace those lost in the last few years.

"Since we have lost furniture and textile industries, as well as 50 percent of our tobacco quotas, our economy is not at its best, but I believe it will improve and become healthy again," Price said in his campaign statement.

Wayne County already has many of the tools it needs to create jobs, Price said.

County officials need to continue to market ParkEast and Mount Olive industrial parks for new industries, while also working with existing companies to help them expand, he said.

And Wayne Community College will play a role by training employees for new industries, he said. "College transfer degrees and technical degrees allow our young people to get needed education at a low cost. Many of them will remain in Wayne County."

The commissioners need to work with the N.C. Association of County Commissioners to seek state and federal assistance for farmers and small-business people, he said.

Price also pledged to work toward these goals:

*Completion of U.S. 117, construction of U.S. 70 Bypass and improvements for N.C. 55 and U.S. 13.

*Efficient county government.

*The best education possible for Wayne County's students.

*Development of the Global TransPark.

*Support for Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Price said, "The base, its people and the retirees that choose to live here are vital
to our local economy. Seymour Johnson has an economic impact of $2.7 million a day on Wayne County. We do not want to, and cannot afford to, lose Seymour Johnson."

He concluded, "I love this county and its people. I like working with county government and want to see us grow and prosper.

"When re-elected, I will work to see that Wayne County provides the best service possible and that the burden on the taxpayer is kept to a minimum. I pledge to keep an open door policy to any and all residents of the county."

Price is running for the commissioners' at-large seat, the only one elected countywide. He has a Republican opponent, Hal Keck, and the possibility of an unaffiliated candidate, Len Henderson, who must submit petitions by next month to get on the ballot.

Price began his political career in 1976 when he was elected to the Wayne County Board of Education. After 10 years on that board, he made the switch to county commissioner. He remained a commissioner until 1992 when he was unseated by D.J. Pelt in District 5.

He returned to the board in 1996 as the at-large commissioner and won re-election in 2000. He served from 1997-2003 as the commissioners' chairman. He currently is vice chairman.

Price lives in Seven Springs with his wife, Carolyn. He was a son and three step-daughters.