• 50°

Editorial: Perdue’s great expectations

The inauguration of North Carolina’s first female governor has been overshadowed by the history being made in Washington by President-elect Barack Obama. But that’s just fine. Beverly Perdue enters the Governor’s Mansion on the strength of her leadership, not the happenstance of her gender.
Perdue will not have to try hard to be a more visible and vocal governor than Mike Easley. His predecessor, Jim Hunt, was often out in the state boosting causes and using the bully pulpit to urge the state forward. By comparison, Easley was the phantom governor, preferring to work behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight. He backed many of the same issues as Hunt, such as education and economic development. More at 4, the state’s excellent program for at-risk preschoolers, is Easley’s baby. But his approach has been so low-key that most people would be at a loss to identify him with any government initiatives. They just remember that he crashed at Lowe’s Motor Speedway ó without serious injury, thankfully.
Perdue should strive to be neither a Jim Hunt nor a Mike Easley. She needs to be pure Bev Perdue, putting her own stamp on the office of governor. She campaigned across the state, including in Rowan County, as an advocate for improving education, creating jobs and protecting the environment. And she plans to do that, even as the economy demands attention. The downturn has delivered a half-billion-dollar shortfall to the new governor, and she faces the unenviable task of working with the General Assembly to close the gap.
She should not use the tactic of withholding funds from local government, as Easley did shortly after entering office in 2001. That just pushed the shortfall to a different level of government and multiplied the angst by 100. There is no painless way to cut expenses and ó possibly ó raise revenue to deal with the state budget. But passing the buck to other elected officials not responsible for the unbalanced budget is simply wrong.
As Perdue deals with the budget and an endless parade of issues, she can rebuild confidence in state government by operating as openly as possible ó not just as the law requires. In her inaugural speech Saturday, she promised citizens a more transparent, efficient state government “that works for them, not against them.”
Perdue said she would not allow the recession to lower her expectations for the state. She should know that the recession does not lower North Carolinians’ hopes and expectations of her, either. Her passion for the state is evident. Let’s hope she rises to the challenge and proves to be just the leader to guide the state through this difficult time.

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame