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County’s new leaders: We can do better

It felt like Christmas had come early to the merry crowd at Trinity Oaks after the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast meeting was over Thursday morning.

It wasn’t yet 9 a.m., but people seemed to have an extra bounce in their step as they headed back out into the cold, December morning.

Maybe it was just the coffee kicking in, or maybe it was because they had just heard impassioned speeches by the new leaders of Rowan County about their eagerness to move forward.

New County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds proclaimed it’s a new day in Rowan County, to a round of applause.

Edds spoke about the need for the county to have a vision, including revamping the county’s economic development game plan. He said an advisory team will be formed to scout the economy and inform county leaders about what steps they should take to capitalize on economic opportunities.

The team will compliment  RowanWorks, the county’s industry recruitment group.

County Manager Aaron Church said Rowan County needs to develop its own brand and market it to businesses and those looking for a new place to call home.

He spoke about creating a logo for the county. The logo is meant to instill a positive image of Rowan in the minds of those who see it.

New county commissioners Jim Greene and Judy Klusman also spoke. And, like Edds, they said the county must build partnerships both within and outside its borders.

If we all don’t work together, we all fail, Klusman said.

The commissioners said relationships must be built with the county’s municipalities, and in some cases rebuilt.

It’s evident that the three new county commissioners want to work with the city of Salisbury to solve problems, not create them.

The quality of a community’s schools directly affect its  ability to recruit good jobs. That’s why more applause came when Greene said, “We’re going to support our schools. There’s no reason not to support our public schools, period.”

It sounded like the county commissioners are ready for a fresh start in the new year. And spirits were high after everyone was done talking.

Let’s hope 2015 is everything we want it to be.

Contact reporter David Purtell 704-797-4264.

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