08/19/07 — Residents can share their views

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Residents can share their views

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on August 19, 2007 10:09 AM

Looking to further open the lines of communication with county residents, the Wayne County Commissioners will begin holding a series of six town hall-style meetings on Thursday.

"It's something the board wants to do. We've got a lot of things going on right now," said county Manager Lee Smith. "People can't always get to the meetings in the mornings, so they wanted to get out into the community a little bit."

He explained that the goal of the meetings is two-fold.

The first part is to give the commissioners and the county staff a chance to explain some of what's been going on lately, particularly in terms of the budget, the 2.9-cent property tax increase, the state's action on Medicaid reform, the process for working with and eventually funding the county school system's facilities plan and the possibilities of referendums on either a local sales tax or land transfer tax.

"I get a lot of those kinds of questions," Smith said.

But the second reason for hosting the meetings, he continued, is to find out what people are thinking and what they are concerned about.

"What we're hoping is that people will come in and write down their questions. Then we'll try to answer them in the meeting," he said.

Really, said commission Chairman John Bell, the bottom line is that the commissioners want a better dialogue with the people they're representing.

"It's something we've been planning for a couple years or more, but just now getting around to doing," he said. "We just want to sort of do a better job of letting the people of Wayne County know what we're doing.

"A lot of people have questions. We get a lot of phone calls. We want to give people the opportunity to come to these meetings and ask anything they want to know. There's not really any other reason than just informing the people of Wayne County what we're doing to address the people's needs."

The meetings, which will run from 6 to 8 p.m., will be held on Thursday, Aug. 23 at Rosewood High School, Tuesday, Aug. 28 at Goldsboro High School, Thursday, Aug. 30 at Southern Wayne High School, Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Eastern Wayne High School, Thursday, Sept. 6 at Spring Creek High School and Tuesday, Sept. 11 at Charles B. Aycock High School.