03/24/06 — City will meet with residents

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City will meet with residents

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 24, 2006 1:45 PM

City officials will take to the streets again this spring, as a new wave of neighborhood meetings has been scheduled to begin in April.

City Manager Joe Huffman said the meetings will follow a script similar to the ones held last fall on Kornegay Street and Maplewood -- dinner, introductions from elected officials and staff, and an open discussion between concerned neighbors and city leaders.

"That's how I envision it," he said. "But the follow-up meetings can take a much different form."

After the April meeting in the Virginia Street area, the city will host one gathering per month through October in each of Goldsboro's six voting districts. The Virginia Street meeting will mark the first of the year.

At the first meeting, held last September on the blacktop of South Kornegay Street, neighbors identified a series of problems on their block -- dilapidated houses, drug-related crime, litter and fire ants.

At the second, in Maplewood, no real problems were addressed. Instead, what was meant to be a problem-solving session, turned out as a chance for neighbors to meet and thank city officials for all they have done for Goldsboro.

Still, officials said they believe these meetings are more than just an opportunity to say the right things. They are about action and results.

"We're already seeing some successes," Huffman said. "They have definitely had a positive impact."

And you can see those results on Kornegay Street, he said.

Many others, including City Council member Chuck Allen, cite that only a few weeks after the Kornegay Street meeting, one of the dilapidated dwellings identified by neighbors as a major eyesore had been demolished by the city. Soon, a new modular home will be located in its place.

"That area and areas around it are my personal No. 1 priority," Allen said. "From what was there and what will soon be there (a new modular home), you can see that these meetings are working."

More specific dates, times and locations for the upcoming meetings will be announced as they are confirmed.