It was certainly welcome news to hear Gov. Pat McCrory voice his commitment to helping rebuild the local economy in Rocky Mount in no uncertain terms.
McCrory pledged to visit the area again many times during his term as governor in a speech delivered Thursday to the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at Nash Community College.
Simply by agreeing to speak at the meeting, McCrory sent a strong signal that he is interested in confronting the challenges and captitalizing on the opportunities that exist in the Twin Counties. In stating that he wants to help local leaders revitalize the area’s economic environment, the new governor offered hope and encouragement to not only the 600 or so people he spoke to at the meeting, but to all local residents.
McCrory took a tour of downtown before attending the Chamber event, praising the city’s work in redeveloping the historic Douglas Block and giving Main Street a much-needed facelift through the Streetscape program.
He went on to hold those two projects up as models for the rest of the state.
McCrory praised the quality and efforts of local leaders and noted that several members of his cabinet have connections to Rocky Mount, including Secretary of Administration Bill Daughtridge and Chief of Staff Thomas Stith.
Cynics will say that talk is cheap and we should judge the governor by his actions over the course of the next four years and not just his words. And this is certainly true to an extent – but coming to Rocky Mount less than a month after taking office and promising to use the weight of his executive power to help improve the area is a welcome first step.