When elected officials give their State of the (fill in the blank) Address, they are typically a look back at the year just ended and they tend to focus primarily on the successes of the previous 12 months.
When Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams made his State of the Town address, he did much of the same. And 2013 was a year with many successes to be sure.
But Williams’ remarks also implied a lot of activity ahead in 2014. Indeed, this will likely be the year we start to see the tangible effects of a bond issue approved last year by voters. For the past few months, town council members have been steadily making plans for the projects the bond issue will pay for.
There is optimism on the economic development front with the marketing efforts for the former ConAgra site. And plans will start to come to fruiton for additional development in the neighborhood around White Oak Shopping Center. Work crews will likely get started on work to improve the intersection of U.S. 70 and Interstate 40. And, after much delay and hand-wringing the effort to complete the I-540 loop has restarted, although we know there will be no concrete poured in 2014.
Taken together, all these things give Williams reason to be optimistic. The council members who serve with Williams will have much hard work to do in 2014, but they seem generally on the same page regarding most of the major issues facing the town.
We suspect it would be difficult to improve on the excitement and successes of 2013, but it’s exciting to us – as it should be to any Garner resident – to think of the opportunities that lay ahead for our town in 2014.
As the town grows and opportunies for residents increase, we expect people will take advantage of them. We hope people will also feed off Williams’ optimism and look for ways they can involve themselves in the process of making Garner an even better place to live and work.
Without a doubt, there will be opportunities for everyone to be involved, whether its formal service on a town advisory board, or coaching a rec league ball team, establishing a neighborhood association or volunteering in a local school. The town of Garner will only be as good as the people of Garner make it . 2014 is your chance to help foster improvements in our town.