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Citizens, city, county, schools partner for community action planning sessions

SALISBURY — Citizens in partnership with the city of Salisbury, Rowan County and the Rowan-Salisbury School System are organizing a series of community action planning sessions next month.

The sessions will begin Monday, April 3, at the Wallace Educational Forum and will address four areas — improved public safety and its relationship with citizens, opportunities for children, improved community relations and workforce development.

Residents are encouraged to attend at least one planning session to help develop the vision of a “healthier community that provides a livable environment which is safer, with higher educational achievement, stronger workforce and employment opportunities and better relationships between the community, the City and law enforcement,” according to a statement from the city.
Sessions will be held:

•   Monday, April 3 — Wallace Educational Forum, 500 N. Main St., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
•   Thursday, April 6 — Livingstone College, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
•   Saturday, April 8 — Civic Center, 315 S. MLK Jr. Ave., 10 a.m. to noon
•   Saturday, April 29 — Hurley YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd., 10 a.m. to noon

Childcare will be provided during the two Saturday sessions.

The vision and focus areas were developed over a two-month period of work sessions featuring more than 20 people from community organizations including workforce development, religious institutions, the Salisbury Police Department, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Livingstone and Catawba colleges, and the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP.

While those from community organizations will serve as facilitators for this effort, Salisbury residents will complete the bulk of the work in shaping the city’s future by creating an achievable, measurable, road map for success in each of the four areas.

“Our residents have repeatedly shared with City Council and staff members that they want effective action plans to address the challenges in the city of Salisbury, not just another meeting,” said City Manager W. Lane Bailey.

“These work sessions will allow residents to work together on these important issues facing our community and develop the strategic action plan on how we are going to overcome them. A project of this significance cannot solely rely on one person or entity to lead. Working together and holding each other accountable for the successes is what will move Salisbury forward,” Bailey said.

Once sessions are complete, each focus area will be assigned to leaders who will be responsible for further development,  implementation, measurement and reports to the stakeholder group at large.

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