08/21/06 — Meeting set for Tuesday in city neighborhood

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Meeting set for Tuesday in city neighborhood

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 21, 2006 1:50 PM

The presence of gang graffiti on sidewalks, street signs and roads might be one of many concerns neighbors in the Bunche Drive and Harris Street areas voice to city officials Tuesday, Goldsboro Mayor Al King said.

More than a month after City Council members and department heads last took to the streets, Tuesday at 6 p.m., the city-sponsored neighborhood meeting schedule picks back up on the front lawn of Fire Station No. 4.

King said it will be good for the community and it's government to get back together to discuss the future of Goldsboro. The last meeting, that was to be held in the Mimosa Park area, was canceled due to rain.

"It seems like it's been a long time," he said. "We had some momentum going, and we're going to jump-start it again."

King said the gatherings give city leaders a chance to meet residents they might not have yet -- and to develop a trusting, open line of communication between neighborhoods and City Hall.

"It also gives us an idea about who the leaders are in these communities," he said.

Once the "key players" in each area have been identified by the city, they will become the primary contacts in the event of an emergency or citywide announcement, King added.

To date, the meetings have yielded large turnouts and plenty of food for thought, he said. Once concerns are voiced, King and other officials attempt to follow up with worried residents, he added.

"That's one of the results of some of those meetings," King said. "I have had the opportunity to have discussions with individuals with concerns they might not want to say in front of a crowd. ... Along with Chief Bell, we try to take care of them."

The format for Tuesday's event will be similar to previously held meetings, officials said. Pizza Inn and Coca-Cola will provide food and refreshments and staff from city departments will man information tables. After council members introduce themselves, residents will be given the option of addressing the crowd from behind a lectern or speaking with individual officials about more specific concerns.

King encouraged all neighbors of the area to come out and join in the discussion -- for the good of Goldsboro.

"That's my neighborhood," he said. "I hope everybody will come out and see us."