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Editorial: 3 items deserve our gratitude

From a convenient location in the state to the diversity of the people and places within their boundaries, there’s much to be eternally grateful for in Salisbury and Rowan County.

We live close enough to North Carolina’s largest cities and a short drive from rural countryside, too. There are people from many different walks of life who work to make Salisbury and Rowan County nice places to live, too.

But three items in particular deserve our collective appreciation this year.

First is the announcement made earlier this year that online pet product retailer Chewy.com will open a 700,000-square-foot fulfillment center. With more than 1,200 jobs, the announcement was unprecedented for Rowan County.

Those jobs mean people with lower-income jobs will receive a better paycheck and that there will be tens of millions of dollars added to the tax base. Chewy will also produce service-sector jobs and other employment opportunities with companies who do work at the new fulfillment center.

It’s the most significant piece of news from an improving local economy. Local companies are creating jobs and outsiders are looking to build in Rowan in a way we haven’t seen before.

The net result will be a more prosperous community with local governments that can invest more heavily in infrastructure, schools, amenities and public safety.

We should also be thankful for innovation in our public school system.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ “renewal” status has empowered teachers to look at public education in a new way — one that aims to empower students rather than render judgment solely based on test scores.

This year, parents and teachers have seen district-wide implementation of “renewal.” And we believe the final result will be a school system that’s more closely aligned with the needs of our community, society at large and employers.

Third, we should thank the many people who will be sworn in next month to city and town councils across the county after winning spots in the 2019 election.

Their service will be a difficult job, with minimal pay for the long hours and criticism they will endure. Those long hours will be spent in council chambers and at home reviewing meeting packets, zoning cases and responding to citizen concerns.

Suffice to say, serving on a town or city council is usually not a glamours job. Whether you agree with their policy decisions or not, those who serve our cities and towns deserve our gratitude.

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