Last week, we just passed 1 million citizens. One hundred thousand in the last four years. As we continue to be on almost every list of top 10s, the question before us is: Will we still be there in 10 or even 20 years? Done correctly, growth is good because it brings economic vitality, jobs, creativity, diversity, greater choices and a higher quality of life. But with growth comes pressure. Pressure on an already stressed transportation system, pressure on our public schools to continue to meet demand, pressure on our water resources both in quality and quantity all of which ultimately impact our quality of life, which, by the way, gets us on all those top 10 lists. The question posed is: Can we double in size again while improving our quality of life? I’ve been getting up every morning for the past 20 years working to help make that happen.
Without proper planning, we will be like so many of the once promising cities with much to offer that are now just out-of-date metropolis’ with gridlocked traffic, failing schools and citizens heading for the exit. The choice is ours and the time is now. With planning, we can begin to make investments in our transportation system that will bring choices and opportunities along with jobs and careers. We can pay our teachers at a rate that will attract and retain the best and brightest in Wake County to come, teach and stay to prepare our most precious treasures, our children, for a 21st century work place. We can invest in open space, greenways, parks, clean water, air quality and quality of life that brought us and kept us here in the first place.
North Carolina has always been a cut above. We’ve been a shining star in the southeast; I’ve always put us above our regional neighbors in talent, progressive thinking, planning and education. That shouldn’t stop now. I am looking forward to guiding us in the right direction towards a better future. Friends, it’s not too late. We can get our transportation system back on track. Start rebuilding the nationally recognized public school system we once had and continue to invest in our water quality, parks and greenways. The types of investments that will help us create a 21st century county.
In my 30 years as a resident, this is the most crucial election I have experienced for our county. Talk to your friends, register to vote, work the polls on Election Day, vote early and get your friends and family to the polls. Our future hangs in the balance; there is nothing more I would like than to be working as a Wake County Commissioner making sure we’re still on every top 10 list, twenty years from now.
Click here to find out more information from the News & Observer on Raleigh passing 1 million citizens.