06/07/07 — Waller announces for City Council

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Waller announces for City Council

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 7, 2007 1:46 PM

From a seat inside his Goldsboro home Thursday, District 2 representative Bob Waller became the fourth member of the City Council to announce his pursuit of re-election.

A life of service won't end in November, he said -- not if he has anything to say about.

"I'm going to run," Waller said. "I thought I would give it one more try. Four more years."

For months he has been silent when asked whether or not he would throw his name into the race, he added -- a result of doubts stemming from his wife's recent run of poor health.

But as she grew stronger, so, too, did his determination to help lead Goldsboro for a few more years.

"Her encouragement helped," Waller said.

And then there were his district's residents, prodding him to give it another go.

"I've had friends from District 2 ask me to run," he said. "They have put their trust in me, and that's important."

But this race won't just be about his home district, he added.

"I try to serve the whole city," Waller said. "We've got to look after all these folks."

One way to do just that is to finish ongoing efforts at the Paramount Theater, City Hall and Community Building sites, he said.

But looking to the future is of equal importance -- a civic center, revamped Stoney Creek Park, revitalized downtown and more, perhaps.

"I think we've got a lot of great things going on," Waller said. "But we can't stop there. All these are important projects but I would hope, in the near future, we could do something about a civic center."

High-dollar projects will be a part of the future, he added, but taking care of the less expensive things is just as important.

"I want to make sure we have adequate water, adequate sewer and adequate police and fire protection," he said. "We need to look after the young people. They're going to be running this city before too long."

Stopping emerging gangs is another way to help future generations, he added.

"I would like to see (the City Council) become more involved in the fight against gangs," Waller said. "Gangs bother me and people are afraid of them. We need to look very closely at that and find a way to stop them."

Still, there are dozens of problems that need to be addressed, too many to list, he added.

But Waller takes an optimistic approach.

Because for him, thinking about the city 30 years from now makes him realize that with every challenge comes an opportunity, he said.

"I would think (30 years from now), it would be a viable place, beautiful as ever in the spring with the flowers blooming," Waller said. "Economically, we have businesses that want to come here, and Seymour Johnson is still viable and active in the community."

And he hopes that a life of service to the community will pay off for him and his family, in the results his grandchildren will likely enjoy decades from now.

"We have been very fortunate to live in Goldsboro, to grow up here," Waller said. "All of our kids are still here and they participate. I hope we're helping to make it a place people want to come back to when they get older."