My Turn: Salisbury is vital part of county

  • Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 10:15 a.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, December 10, 2012 10:42 a.m.

By Karen Young
The last I knew, I was a resident of Rowan County even though I live in the city limits.

The last I knew, I paid county taxes and my grandchildren attended the Rowan Salisbury Schools.

The last I knew, Salisbury was the county seat.

The last I knew, a vital Salisbury and its businesses were good for Rowan County, setting the city apart from dying downtowns all over the country.

The last I knew, Salisbury residents voted for the current county commissioners.

The last I knew, Salisbury City Council made policy for all city residents, including the cooperation and expenses in planning for the new school central offices.

It has long puzzled me that Commissioner Jim Sides has always openly treated the city of Salisbury as a competitor to the county rather than part of the political fabric of the county with common goals and interests. His recent move to block the press and the Salisbury City Council from discussions as hostile and illegal. This move ignores the fact that Salisbury students attend Rowan-Salisbury Schools, not Rowan County Schools.

I have been retired from Rowan Salisbury Schools for 15 years. (Craig Pierce and Chad Mitchell were students of mine and were delightful young people.) Years before I retired, the need for a new central office was already acute. During 1990 I worked out of the Long Street office and observed the make-shift use of that old building. My office was in a former book room converted to the use of four adult professionals. We had to get up from our chairs when anyone had to leave the room.

From experience, I know that using the updated but historic Ellis Street office for some programs allows for some future expansion there and also saves building costs on the new facility. It also would help preserve another neighborhood located in the city and the county.

I cannot imagine moving all of this to Salisbury Mall. Can’t you see the school board becoming landlords to this vast and inappropriate facility? Such a move would not only remove the mall from the city and county tax base; it would require the addition of more managers to the school budget.

Mr. Sides needs to get over his hostile stance toward the press and to the city of Salisbury. He needs to recognize his obligation to the law and good policy by proceeding with what already has been largely approved by the current board. I only hope that commissioners and school board members proceed with good will and honor the process already far along in order to proceed this project to completion in the planned downtown location.

Karen Young lives in Salisbury.

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