09/26/10 — Mayor King gets highest honor from DGDC

View Archive

Mayor King gets highest honor from DGDC

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 26, 2010 1:50 AM

Full Size


Goldsboro's Mayor Al King watches Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. President Geoff Hulse welcome the crowd to the organization's annual banquet.

Those who know Al King well prodded him Friday evening about his propensity to be long-winded.

But when those same people presented Goldsboro's mayor with the Downtown Lifetime Achievement Award -- an honor that has only been awarded to seven people since it was created -- they saw a different man.

"Wow," King said, looking out at those who showed up outside the Wayne County Courthouse for the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.'s annual dinner and awards ceremony. "What do I say? Finally, I'm speechless."

The mayor was among those honored Friday for his staunch support of the many downtown initiatives he has been a part of since taking office at the turn of the century.

And it was fitting, DGDC executive director Julie Thompson said, that the final award of the evening went to a man who has seen nearly $50 million invested in the city's core since he became the Goldsboro's top elected official.

"He is probably downtown's single biggest advocate," she said.

From his support of the City Hall Annex and Paramount Theatre construction projects, to his often outspokenness on the recently approved streetscape redesign initiative, he has truly been a champion for downtown, Mrs. Thompson said.

David Weil, a past recipient of the honor, agreed.

"Mayor King is exactly what we would all want to have in a mayor," he said.

But King told the crowd the award wasn't about him -- that it was those downtown stakeholders in the audience that gave him the energy to speak his mind on the future of the city he has come to love since he retired from the Air Force and moved back to Wayne County.

"I want to thank you so, so terribly much for your support. You are what make me move. When I'm around you, I'm energized," he said. "It's not about Al King. It's about the people who surround Al King."

And he urged them to continue their efforts, to keep pushing for change until their shared dream of a revitalized downtown comes to fruition -- vowing to do the same until his next retirement.

"The economy has slowed us down but we will not stop," King said. "We're going to get there."

Others who took home honors at the annual dinner include:

* DGDC Volunteer of the Year: Mike Overman

* Downtown Design Improvement: Murphy's Place

* Downtown Advocate of the Year: Cleve Paul

* DGDC Board Member of the Year: Sally Worrell

* Downtown Outstanding Investor: Warren Bishop

* Most Valuable Supporter: Arts Council of Wayne County

* Outstanding Merchant of the Year: Cain Gallery/Peachtree Furniture & Interiors.