02/10/12 — Councilman Williams will run for fifth term

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Councilman Williams will run for fifth term

By From staff reports
Published in News on February 10, 2012 1:46 PM

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Charles Williams

During a Goldsboro City Council meeting that saw three incumbent council members announce they would not seek re-election this election year, many listened to District 4 Councilman Rev. Charles Williams' comments with bated breath.

Williams let it be known that he would seek re-election to a fifth term.

"I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet," he said, sandwiched between three announcements by Jackie Warrick, Bob Waller and Don Chatman confirming they would not be on the ballot this summer.

Williams, who has been on the council for 16 years, is the council's longest-serving active council member and he said that the change he's witnessed while on the board has convinced him he can continue to make a positive influence on the city.

"We have accomplished many things and I've seen so much change for the better," he said.

Williams, 69, explained that his support for downtown revitalization would continue, though he said if the upcoming discussion of the Center Street Streetscape project revealed a cause for a tax increase, he would be against it.

"I've seen a lot happen down there, and I ain't going to be around to see it all, but I'd like to Goldsboro grow. Downtown -- that's the heart of the city. You've got businesses down there -- they're small -- but we need some more businesses downtown."

Williams spoke of the importance of those businesses to residents in the surrounding areas and said he has observed other cities where Streetscape projects have inspired investment.

"When you put (the Streetscape) in, it changes the environment," he said.

Williams said he doesn't want to end his time on the council with so many projects still in flux.

"I would hate to just leave now," he said, adding he was bothered by the decisions of his fellow councilman to not seek additional terms. "It concerned me to see several of them deciding not to run for re-election."

Williams, who was involved in a head-on collision in 2010, said he heard talk following his accident and subsequent surgeries that he may not run, but he said his passion won out in the end.

"I have that kind of love and concern for the city -- I just like helping people, especially people low on the totem pole. I'm willing to run despite (the accident). I'm just that concerned about Goldsboro -- that's my love for Goldsboro. I don't know if I can win re-election (and if I do) I don't know if I'll want to run again."

The filing period for most municipal elections in Wayne County begins Monday, Feb. 13, and ends at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 29.