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Newest county effort aims to unite Rowan’s 10 municipalities

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Declaration of Independence remains an important document in American culture, but county leaders see a need for the opposite in Rowan.

A group of people have drafted a Rowan Declaration on Interdependence that aims to encourage cooperation among the county’s 10 municipalities. China Grove was the first to pass the measure during its meeting last week. It passed unanimously.

Reading the declaration during last week’s meeting, China Grove Mayor Lee Withers listed the various areas that the document aims to promote — invest in ideas that connect assets of various municipalities, leveraging assets in new ways that benefit all, collaborate, building an inclusive community and resolving controversies privately and quickly.

County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds attended China Grove’s meeting to help present the declaration. In early 2017, Edds said groups of people would begin to work together on “things that have confounded Rowan County for a long time.” He included economic development, education and philanthropy in a list of examples.

In the end, Edds said the goal is to ensure children born in Rowan County want to return to the area after graduating from college.

After last week’s meeting, Edds told the Salisbury Post that the declaration aims to create “a more aggressive mindset, new habits of civic behavior and even an occasional leap of faith.”

“While the 10 communities that make up Rowan County have not had a strong history of working together, we now believe we have a unique opportunity to define our future together in new ways,” he said in a text message.

Edds said he would be presenting the declaration to each municipality over the next few months.

He declaration is based on a book called “Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy” — a book Edds has cited occasionally during his time as chairman.

In order to improve the quality of life and find new opportunities, Edds says it’s important for Rowan County’s 10 municipalities to work together.

“We believe we can greatly accelerate our success if we align our core goals and beliefs,” Edds said.

The 10 municipalities in Rowan County include: Salisbury, Kannapolis, China Grove, Cleveland, East Spencer, Faith, Granite Quarry, Landis, Rockwell and Spencer.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

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