Bigger things await

Published 10:31 am Friday, July 18, 2014

We’re inclined to agree with Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn’s recent assessment that both the city and council have had a productive two years, the length of her first term.

For example, there’s the establishment of shared services with Southampton County, specifically the combined Community Development Office. Further, both localities are looking into working together on taking care of wastewater services.

There’s also a possibility of negotiating with Isle of Wight to find similar ways of sharing services common to both the city and county.

The Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc., and the city have also teamed up to bring in businesses, such as the Love’s Travel Center and Bojangles. That’s an estimated $7 million investment that can create nearly 100 jobs.

To paraphrase something the mayor said earlier this week, all these relationships are to be continuously nurtured.

But there’s always room for improvement. Ward 3’s Greg McLemore recently made an excellent point about the need for council to be more receptive to the needs of the city’s residents. This came after one person was seeking help on his electric bill, and apparently left unsatisfied.

McLemore acknowledged that council can’t give everything that people ask, but that doesn’t mean members can just sit there and say, ‘Sorry.’

What they could do is make more of a demonstrative effort to help residents find solutions on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, we’re also optimistic as Ward 1’s Barry Cheatham — who was reelected by his peers to serve as vice mayor — when he said, “I think bigger things are coming our way.”