05/16/07 — Residents share thoughts about needs in their neighborhoods

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Residents share thoughts about needs in their neighborhoods

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 16, 2007 1:45 PM

Ralph Heidenreich just wants some peace and quiet.

"I'm awakened at night," he said. "These kids with their boomboxes going. They vibrate up into our houses. We need to do something about enforcement."

Noise was one of a handful of concerns voiced by residents of the Teakwood and Mimosa Park areas Tuesday on the Harding Drive YMCA soccer field.

More than 30 neighbors joined elected officials, members of the city management team and staff for the first of four city-sponsored neighborhood meetings to be held this year.

Jim Huddleton did not mention the noise. But as he spoke to the crowd about the drainage problem in the area -- one he said leaves the roadways flooded anytime it rains -- his comments were backed up by "amens" and applause.

"It's so bad sometimes the kids can't get off the school bus," he said. "My daughter has to walk through knee-deep water to get home. Proper drainage or a kayak would be good."

And standing water leads to other problems, he added -- mosquitoes for one.

"We need to kick those mosquitoes before they hit the flying stage," he said. "That truck they bring by doesn't seem to be doing anything."

The neighbors had not simply showed up to complain, though.

Many offered solutions including cleaning out the ditches on a regular basis to reduce backup after heavy rain.

And there were other woes voiced, too.

Speeding, traffic and inconsistent trash collection were among them.

Mayor Al King thanked the crowd for attending and vowed to help.

"What we're trying to do is develop a dialogue between you and the city," he said. "We hope coming out was worth your time and effort. And don't worry, we want to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood, and more generally, the city of Goldsboro."

Tuesday marked the beginning of the third year of neighborhood meetings.

City Manager Joe Huffman said he has been keeping in touch with residents from each of them and will form the Mayor's Neighborhood Committee at a gathering to be held later this month -- a group that will focus on keeping lines of communication between the city and its residents open.

Three more neighborhood meetings will be held before the end of fall. Residents along William and Ash streets and those living on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will all get their opportunity to be heard during the remaining schedule.