01/09/12 — 2012's list: City leaders give their opinions

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2012's list: City leaders give their opinions

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 9, 2012 1:46 PM

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Historic city hall and the annex in Goldsboro

MAYOR AL KING: Our revenue. We need to make sure that we do whatever we can to increase revenue. Without revenue, you can't do anything. The number one goal or requirement is to make sure of the revenue flow into the city.

News-Argus: Through tax increases?

King: Not necessarily through taxes. We need to do things that make people want to come to the city of Goldsboro and spend money. We need to do things that will attract people.

DISTRICT 1 COUNCILMAN MICHAEL HEADON: I think there are multiple. There's a number of projects on the minds of the Mayor and City council, but so much of it will depend on funding. One of those projects is Union Station.

DISTRICT 2 COUNCILMAN BOB WALLER: I think it's going to be budgetary -- money and taxes. What can we do with what we have? I just think it's the wrong time to raise any taxes and expect people to be taxed any more than they are now. It will also be how we address that and still keep streets clean and have services. Those are the main things that I see.

DISTRICT 3 COUNCILMAN DON CHATMAN:  The number one issue, I would think, would be the economy and our reduced revenue stream and, with that, maintaining our current level of services with whatever budget we come up with next year. I also hear a  lot of complaints about gunshots or alleged drug deals in houses and that sort of thing so maintaining our crime vigilance would be the next thing.

DISTRICT 4 COUNCILMAN THE REV. CHARLES WILLIAMS: Well, it's probably right along the lines of downtown revitalization. We've put the recreation center on the back burner. I was in Smithfield, North Carolina this past weekend and they've got a recreation aquatic center. It is beautiful. I think we should have something like that. I saw people down there by the hundreds -- I mean people -- it was so integrated. You had Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics -- all the different races there together going into that center. It looked like America to me. America is diversity. Something like that would bring back diversity downtown. I sat down and said why is it that Smithfield can do this and Goldsboro can't. I think it would be a great thing if we can put the recreation center in and do something about the train station and all of this and just bring all of this stuff to reality and Goldsboro wouldn't be the way it is right now. The perception of our city would be upgraded. People would just love going downtown, shopping and utilizing restaurants and the places like the Paramount Theatre and Arts Council (of Wayne County) and all of that stuff. The Streetscape project would also be a great improvement to our infrastructure.

MAYOR PRO TEM CHUCK ALLEN: The deannexation is the No. 1 issue, and I think that the big concern is the unknown. If the Legislature wants to go up there and eliminate them (involuntary annexations), whatever they're going to do to them I have no gripe about that. What they've done to Goldsboro is they've taken a legitimate annexation where money has already exchanged hands both ways and said "You're not going to do this anymore." Where does it stop? It's a huge problem for local governments everywhere. And let's say it (the deannexation of the Phase 11 area) doesn't get stopped. What happens is the citizens of Goldsboro are going to be left paying this bill. How would you plan for the future if you can't count on the Legislature? That's problematic. The other thing I think is a problem is we still have to find a way to create jobs. That's a county problem and a city problem. We're doing pretty good, but there are plenty of people out there that need a job. It's hard to facilitate that, but we should create an environment the best we can. The economy and jobs are still on everybody's mind.

DISTRICT 6 COUNCILMAN JACKIE  WARRICK: The problem I have with answering that question is we have not had our retreat yet. We just got an update (Nov. 7) on revenues going in and coming out. The taxes haven't come in so I don't know what to tell you. I don't know how much money we have to play with. We've done nothing for at least two or three years and we don't have any money to do anything. We need police cars, fire trucks, water lines and equipment at the Maintenance Complex. We have an Air Force museum -- we don't know what that's going to entail. If the Streetscape project grant comes through, that grant has a 20 percent match. I don't know how to answer it until the money comes in and we see what we've got."