Editorial: Goals past and future
While the new year is a time for making resolutions and setting goals, it’s also a good time to take stock of the past year’s accomplishments and frustrations. With that in mind, here’s a glance back at some of the “goals for 2013” the Salisbury Post editorial board offered a year ago.
File under “mission accomplished”:
“Timely completion of Interstate 85 work at the Yadkin River ...” Remember the complaints about the dangers and delays related to the old I-85 bridge? Ancient history, now. With the opening of the south span in March, the bridge project was officially completed, easily accommodating the 60,000 or so vehicles that pass across each day.
“A Missions of Mercy free dental clinic.” The September clinic in Salisbury was an extraordinary success, with volunteer dentists, hygienists and many others serving almost 1,000 patients.
“Quick, constructive response by the county permitting office and a more business-friendly attitude overall from local government.” Under the leadership of Pete Bogle, the county saw solid improvement in this area, while Salisbury also has made a commitment to streamlining the regulatory process. Bogle has since moved on, but the framework in place should perpetuate the goals of greater efficiency and responsiveness.
“Continued success for downtown Salisbury’s Friday night out on the town events.” These events featuring food, music and merchant specials regularly draw big, appreciative crowds. If you build the buzz, they will come.
“The Carolina Panthers making it back to the NFL playoffs after a long absence.” They didn’t just make it back. The Panthers pounced to a division crown and a first-round bye.
Rolling over to the “goals for 2014” list:
“Resolution of the Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ central office issue.” You might say this one fell into a black hole. Dare we believe that this will be the year the central office moves from perennial sore point to done deal?
“Reinvigoration of Salisbury Mall.” The mall hasn’t been reinvigorated, but the county’s purchase of it offers hope that, with proper planning, it can benefit the community through a combination of government/commercial uses.
“Improved academic performance in local schools, cheered on by greater parental involvement at home.” Supt. Dr. Lynn Moody and other administrators acknowledge schools need to do better, but more parental and community support remain vital.
“Improvements at Rowan Airport to help it grow and attract economic development.” With a bruising de-annexation fight behind them, local leaders went to Washington last fall seeking federal aid for a $10.4 million improvement project at the airport. Getting this project off the ground would be a big boost toward joining the region’s economic jet set.
“Full pantries at Rowan Helping Ministries and the Salvation Army year-round.” Despite an improving economy, too many families are still hungering for their own recovery. Let’s keep the spirit of giving alive after the holiday celebrations end.
We’ll check back in 364 days to see how things went. Meanwhile, go Panthers — and happy new year!