Editorial: Eliminating obstacles to growth

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 01:59 PM

Two items at separate meetings on the same day this past week compel us to ask city and county government leaders to get to the table, and do it quickly.

We don’t believe them to be at odds, and in fact, we know they want the same — a prosperous Henderson and Vance County. But a joint, unified effort for action sooner rather than later could help.

On Wednesday, commissioners discussed solar energy at length during a daylong retreat. Many of the questions and concerns from earlier meetings were resolved.

City council members were also meeting the same day in a retreat format. A strategy report is due soon as a result of the discussions. Among the topics were one-stop permitting, which would help businesses locate here, and the troubles with handling city and county policies.

Both items are vital to economic development in the city and county. And we don’t believe the city or county will do well at the expense of the other.

Four counties in the area have shown, through Triangle North, that partnership can work. Any number of business enterprises has as well. But that’s nothing new for city and county leaders — we elected them because they have foresight and ideas.

Our weakened agriculture base, manufacturing base and empty storefronts need an injection, whether it is the solar industry or otherwise. We need our leaders to make it possible for our concerns to be protected, and outsiders to join with us.

With a smile we recall one of the last 10 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Old pal Barney, by now already in Raleigh, somehow has the job of putting together accommodations for a summit meeting. The two sides? Soviet and U.S.

So where else, when everything falls through, but in Andy’s house? Eventually, after neighborly interruptions and stiff stances, the sides wind up at Aunt Bee’s kitchen table with cold fried chicken. Done deal.

That was Hollywood. We’re in reality.

And we need a solid plan that puts more people, and yes their money, back into the local economy. Get to the table, do due diligence regarding the red tape, and keep us accessible and viable.