Editorial: Salisbury still a winner

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Salisbury may not have carried home an All-America City Award from Denver, but the community’s bid to win the honor was far from a wasted effort. Entering and advancing to the finalist stage of the competition stirred civic pride. Even better, the focus on children’s issues could have long-lasting benefits.

Almost as soon as she was elected last fall, Mayor Karen Alexander started pulling people together to strive for the award. Salisbury last won an All-America City Award in 1961 and would not have tried for a repeat had it not been for Alexander’s commitment, backed up by city staff and the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.

The children who went on the trip had an adventure they may never forget. Several had not flown in an plane before; winging it across the country to Denver, Colo. must have been a thrill. The children took on a big job, representing their hometown in a national competition. That’s both a privilege and a responsibility, one they handled well. In video excerpts online, the audience can be heard reacting  to the presentation and laughing at our youngsters’ take-charge attitude.

Thank-yous go to those children, their families and the many other people who made it possible for Salisbury to be so well-represented. Donations were pivotal. Also deserving kudos are the many people involved in gathering information, writing the city’s entry and devising a way to present it in skit form. This was a group effort, a clear example of the “collaborative problem-solving strategies” that judges looked for in the programs touted.

The trip was not just about competing; it also involved seeing other presentations and attending workshops. Let’s hope the community can make use of information gleaned from those sessions. Salisbury has a lot of programs in place for children, but there’s room for improvement, refinement and innovation.