07/10/07 — Residents can speak to state legislators

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Residents can speak to state legislators

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 10, 2007 1:45 PM

Wayne County residents will have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with local members of the state General Assembly at a legislative breakfast at Goldsboro Country Club from 8 to 10 a.m. Friday.

The event is sponsored by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and is open to anyone who wants to attend.

State Reps. Louis Pate, R-Wayne, Van Braxton, D-Lenoir, Larry Bell, D-Sampson, and state Sens. John Kerr, D-Wayne, and Fred Smith, R-Johnston, are all expected to attend.

"We want the public to come," said Patty Graham, director of membership and marketing for the chamber. "It's just one of those things we do as a service to the community.

"It gives our legislators a chance to hear the voices of our community, and it's a time for the legislators to tell us what's going on."

The agenda for the meeting is being set by those residents interested in attending.

When people register, Mrs. Graham explained, they are being asked to submit what topics they'd like to hear discussed.

Leading the list are Medicaid, education, school construction, farmland preservation and the status of Cherry Research Farm and the possibility of a new regional agricultural facility on that property.

She also said that people are curious about how to best communicate with their legislators, whether via telephone, e-mail or face-to-face meetings.

"We'll give each of the legislators about 10 minutes and they'll talk about the topics and what's going on in the session right now," Mrs. Graham said. "Then after everybody's had the opportunity to speak, we'll open the floor to question and answer, and usually it's good communication back and forth."

She's expecting about 100 people to come out for the event.

The cost for the traditional southern-style breakfast is $15. People are asked to pay when they register, which they can do via telephone, 734-2241, fax, 734-2247, Internet, www.waynecountychamber.com or by mail, P.O. Box 1107, Goldsboro, N.C. 27533.