The Gospel According To The Majority Vote On The Council – OUR WILL BE DONE!

The current song, ‘There Is No Difference’ that is playing on the City Council music station is a clap your hands – Texas two-step – around the facts of the matter. Accreditation is Main Street America’s top prize of recognition rewarded to a local Main Street program because it has shown a commitment to the revitalization of downtown. Historic preservation is central to the Main Street Program, whose purpose is to maintain historic and traditional commercial districts as authentic places. Historic preservation involves saving, rehabilitating, and finding new uses for existing buildings, as well as intensifying the uses of the existing buildings, through building improvement projects and policy and regulatory changes that make it easier to develop property within the commercial district. Becoming eligible for this accreditation involves paperwork to document continued growth within the community.

The MY WILL church agenda does not value this significant, successful program, which is why we have lost our accreditation following the departure of John Jesso’s who did value and understood the advantages of Rocky Mount getting on board. The MY WILL church does not believe that a Rising Tide Lifts All Boats. Only the boats in Edgecombe Co. You need to know that there is a difference between Accreditation and Affiliate status. To claim the two statuses’ are the same is mistaken. Losing our accreditation has cost us. Elizabeth (Liz) H. Parham, Director, NC Main Street wrote the following e-mail when I requested her help in this matter. I’ll provide some details of the affiliate member status that has benefits of membership. It is the  exact difference between the two statuses that is important. We are no longer eligible to qualify for this difference. (I have added Bold Face for emphasis.)

“Accredited communities are eligible for occasional funding opportunities through the National Main Street Center, that are only available to accredited communities, such as the National Park Service Main Street Façade Improvement Grant program that Lenoir, Elkin, and Elizabeth City received – $46,000 each for façade improvements in downtown; the Grills Fund for COVID recovery initiatives, that New Bern received; and from time to time, other opportunities that may arise. Accredited communities are eligible for awards, like the Great American Main Street award. Goldsboro was a runner up for this award a few years ago and it is a national recognition. Goldsboro received another grant for around $35,000. Again – only accredited communities are eligible.” 

Drive down to New Bern or over to Elizabeth City and see for yourself the amazing preservation, restoration, and repurposing that can happen when the agenda of a few is no longer imposed on Main Street. Don’t believe the ‘no difference’ lyrics currently playing.

In a follow-up post I will provide a quick read spelling out both statuses.

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4 thoughts on “The Gospel According To The Majority Vote On The Council – OUR WILL BE DONE!

  1. Thank you for doing the research on this, Stephany. Unfortunately this will probably never be received by the majority of the city council as they have shown themselves not open to criticism and unwilling to have their minds changed. But it really is unfortunate that the city will miss out on those grants! What’s even more interesting to me is that you have places like Elizabeth City and Goldsboro that have diverse representation on their city councils that are Main Street accredited. 🤷‍♂️ Which brings to mind my next question – what can be done in the next 2-4 years until political change is possible? Also, at least in the short-term, there is not lot of hope in attracting new business to downtown anyway until COVID-19 and the shutdown passes (end of this year? next year?).


  2. Sadly, the impact of such negligence will have a long-term effect on Rocky Mount. It is not always easy to get back what you have lost when it comes to government programs, funding, and reinvestment dollars. That coupled with the financial scandals and charges of corruption and cronyism—well lets just say Rocky Mounts’ viability score from these agencies is no doubt extremely low and high risk.


  3. Once again Stepheny you’ve zeroed in on the heart of the matter, and the crux of the problem at the same time. Those city council members who have deemed themselves “captain of the ship” either do not realize, (or do not care) that they’re sailing our ship dangerously close to the craggy shoreline, and risking it all on their *own* ill-fated, “three hour tour”. (Any more Gilligan’s Island fans in the house?)
    Me thinks it’s time for a new captain. And crew! 😉


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