Education investment the key to Wilson’s future

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I was an attendee at the candidates’ forum for the Wilson City Council.  I heard some good things.  I also heard some worrisome things.

District 5’s incumbent seemed exasperated at the problem of not being able to find applicants who could pass a drug test.  He seemed to equate that with “Not wanting to work.”  He seemed to be saying his efforts to secure new industry for the town was being hampered by this.

Jobs are important and needed in this community. That is obvious.  But the drug use issues could be a common result of the triangle of poverty-drugs-crime situations that exists in all areas of the country.

The solution to this is education.  What is being done to promote and improve public education in Wilson?  Educated, qualified applicants won’t be available without that education. That takes time. There’s no instant gratification.

I have a business acquaintance who just purchased property out of town for the schools.  It’s going to be difficult to promote Wilson as a center for new industry if the schools are a handicap.  Incoming businesses having lots of employees, the type discussed Thursday night won’t be attracted to relocating in Wilson if their employees aren’t happy with the schools.

GOP and conservative elements have been big proponents of private schools and voucher programs to defund public education.  If Wilson is to have a future, the bright shining future we all hope, it is a necessity to proportionally advance the funding for the public school system.

While loving to bring back downtown Wilson to its former glory, “…like it was in the fifties …” is an honorable and worthwhile endeavor, it’s not the only one that should exist. The Whirligig Park is certainly a draw. But if you really want to improve Wilson, have a better local economy and prosperity with less tax impact on the negative side.

Consider commuter rail service to Raleigh. Bring in buyers for downtown loft apartments and residential options. Wilson is good.  An influx of well-off millennial commuters could make it spectacular. Think tax base and low overhead for incentives.

Dave Hager