Sawyer: common sense for more jobs

Published 6:32 pm Friday, November 2, 2012

Wayne Sawyer, a Democrat seeking a seat on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, considers bringing quality jobs to the county as the No. 1 issue he wants to tackle if elected.
“The biggest problem Beaufort County faces, as we all know, is employment. The first thing we need to do … is to look at getting everybody to work together. That’s one of my goals is to bring common sense back into county government,” Sawyer said. “I think we need the (Economic Development Commission) here, but we need to do it on a smaller scale. I think we need to look at smaller companies coming in here and also supporting our local businesses. There have been right many that have left Beaufort County for various reasons. I think we should support every small business in Beaufort County and try to bring other small businesses to Beaufort County. I think the days of having a 1,500- or 2,000-employee company come to Beaufort County are not here. It’s a long way off. Let’s look at our companies that have 10, 15, 20 employees.”
Sawyer, who won a primary race in May to become a Democratic nominee in the commissioners race, believes there are times when providing incentives to companies makes sense, especially when it applies to existing companies and businesses in the county.
“I think first we should look at helping our existing companies. I don’t have a problem with that,” he said. “I think if we bring them (outside or new companies) in, we need to makes sure they are willing to stay here longer than what most of them have that’s come in so far. In other words, we need to get a total commitment — longevity — out of them.”
When it comes to building a new jail in the county, Sawyer has a definite plan he believes should be implemented.
“We do need a jail. I don’t think we need a palace,” Sawyer said earlier this week. “I think one needs to be built. The one we have is antiquated. It needs to be built on the existing site (current courthouse between West Second and West Third streets). I’m afraid if we take it out of Washington, the city of Washington will go down hill. To me, we’ve got the real estate there and the facility can be built up in stories and put it right there at the existing site at the courthouse.”

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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