Recognize the reality and act

Published 4:41 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

To the Editor,

Twelve years ago, I relocated to eastern North Carolina. Good schools, moderate real estate prices, affordable taxes, nearby health services and great recreational opportunities all contributed to my excitement about moving to the area.

Today, Raleigh seems to have North Carolina on a race to the bottom in education and civility. Politicians pander to their bases by avoiding tax increases, yet find funds to lavish on their contributors.

Locally, we hear the constant drumbeat and open checkbooks for “Industrial Development.” We scan the horizon for the mythical employer who will save our area economy.

It is time to get real! Efforts should be directed to a growing sector of our population—the retired and soon-to-be retired. We have very attractive selling points: low taxes, great recreational opportunities, excellent health care delivery, moderate cost of living, plenty of volunteer options and cultural opportunities.

If we would redirect the time, energy and money spent to stimulating the relocation market, we might see some wonderful things.

Downtown second- and third-floor space could come alive with residents. A real grocery store might appear within walking distance of the river. Could a “retirement” community” with some specialized care materialize?

For once, city and county could work together to provide funds, incentives and assistance meeting codes and common goals for everyone’s success.

Forget “industrial development.” Those jobs are going to go to Raleigh, Charlotte and other deep-pocket regions. Concentrate on keeping our own local companies and businesses happy.

Let’s establish a “Czar of Relocation” to oversee the transformation form a struggling, backwater town to an attractive relocation option.

Recognize the reality and act!


Tom Miller