It’s time for a commitment

Published 5:21 pm Monday, December 30, 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, many people are contemplating resolutions for the new year, if they have not already made those resolutions.

Let’s hope they have the motivation and desire to keep those resolutions, which are so easy to make as 2014 prepares to dawn but so difficult to keep as the new year progresses. When it comes to resolutions, the ages-old axiom applies: actions speak louder than words.

With a new mayor and City Council in place in Washington, a new and differently configured Board of Alderman in place in Belhaven and slightly modified boards of commissioners in Washington Park and other altered local governing bodies in Beaufort County, the new year of 2014 offers opportunities for change — change for the good.

Washington’s new mayor, Mac “Bear” Hodges, has taken some heat recently for saying he wants to see more weddings occur at Festival Park along the city’s waterfront. There’s more to that statement than just bringing weddings to the north shore of the Pamlico River in Washington. Hodges realizes that tourism will play a key role in the upcoming economic development of Washington and Beaufort County. Attracting weddings to the waterfront means that Washington is a destination for visitors coming to town for those weddings. Most, if not all, of the wedding-party members will spend a weekend in Washington, not just make a day trip. Staying a couple of nights in Washington means those folks will spend money on accommodations, food and other necessities while in the city.

Hodges understands that the many manufacturing jobs that city had 30 years ago, even 20 years ago, are no longer here and likely will never return. He knows that economic development in Washington and the region will rely heavily on tourism, whether that tourism is eco-tourism or history-related tourism, if not a combination of both.

Yes, Mayor Mac Hodges knows there’s more to Washington’s economic future than bringing weddings to the city’s waterfront. He knows it takes commitment to make a marriage work. He knows it takes commitment to improve Washington’s economy and future.

And if waterfront weddings are part of a successful formula to help the city grow, then let’s hear “Here Comes the Bride” played many times at Festival Park in the coming months and years.