The Siren call lures nearby sailors to crash upon the rocks of the islands of dangerous creatures. It is their enchanting music and singing that calls them. I am lured by the story of Main Street and the significance of commercial and residential architecture. The corollary danger for me started with my research and learning. The more people that took me under their wing to talk, the more I grew to love the possibilities, I ended up crashing on the rocks of City Government. I found that possibilities are mismanaged, certain members of the City Council rig the system, talented and good people leave or are pushed out, and we have an investigation into maleficence and the skullduggery of leadership that casts a wide net of consequences.
Crashing on these rocks, my writing on the Main Street blog shifted to finding answers that explain the state of things downtown and in the surrounding areas of neglect. I hate having to grapple with the possibility that we will never have real prosperity in Rocky Mount, that is the prosperity of spirit in people’s lives because of complacency, unwillingness to risk change, and worst of all, people who are gaming the system for their own benefit.
The longer we hesitate to call out, name, remove, allow further deterioration of our buildings and housing, the further down the rabbit hole we go. Waiting is not soon enough for those who long for a decent life with an opportunity to lift themselves up. I’m talking about job availability for those willing to work hard after receiving a decent education. Waiting for a future in the sweet by and by shouldn’t be necessary with elected leaders, who are committed to Rocky Mount and a better life for people. The answer begins with your VOTE! Until we hold accountable those we have given the power to make a difference, Rocky Mount will continue to be sabotaged by self-interest, mismanagement, and greed.
I want us to be about: saving Mainstreet, the at-risk neighborhoods, restoring and repurposing, creating pride of ownership that promotes safety in our neighborhoods where people look out for one another. I want those who have made a mistake to have a job when entering back into society. I want a tour of our saved shotgun houses and a reason for people to return to Rocky Mount where they grew up. I want the Masonic Building on Church Street to become a boutique hotel, the Carlton House, one of our historic places, back in business. I want to stroll down Howard Street and sit at a cafe table talking to those who walk by. I want to see couples holding hands walking down Main Street headed to restaurants and coffee shops. People shopping and making memories with their grandchildren. I want to see all the entrepreneurs that took a chance on Rocky Mount rewarded for their belief, working hard to make their dreams come true in this place.
Like it or not, life is about politics, especially now. It is essential that the Councilman in Ward 1, after sixteen years, is replaced with Tarrick Pittman who brings a new vision. This is a great opportunity to vote for the new leadership that is running for the open seats in Wards 3,4,5. We want a new Major who has the experience to create jobs and understands the necessity of a trained work force. Be aware of those who sing the Sirens song again. It’s election time and suddenly, “I care about you.” I hope you agree we have had enough of crashing on the rocks of City Government.