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Editorial: Croskery for District 5

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On Nov. 3, voters will cast ballots in the municipal election for Pitt County. Today, The Daily Reflector offers its editorial board’s recommendation in the District 5 race for Greenville City Council.

 

In his bid for a second term, Greenville City Councilman Rick Croskery faces a strong challenge from P.J. Connelly, one of three young businessmen on the ballot running on platforms that push for more jobs and fewer taxes. Connelly, 32, makes valid arguments for moving the city in a direction aimed at stronger employment opportunities for college graduates, but Croskery, 60, has the firmer grasp on how that economic-development strategy should be steered.

A physician employed by Physicians East, Croskery has practiced medicine in Greenville since completing his residency at East Carolina University more than 30 years ago. Before making his first run for City Council in 2013, he brought to the campaign decades of community service, including a stint as chairman of the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce.

Croskery was elected on a platform of advocating for better long-term planning — particularly with regard to infrastructure improvement — and more cooperation among council members. Except for an ill-fated proposal to consider extending term limits for council members, Croskery has provided a well-balanced voice of reason. Even the publicly unpopular idea of extending terms was based on his feeling that most of an initial two-year term is spent learning policy and procedure.

Croskery’s style of studying the issues — particularly in areas of economic development — and working to ensure the city is taking the path toward greatest long-term benefit is valuable for the entire city. He understands, for instance, the critical importance of the city’s transportation bond in building and maintaining the infrastructure needed to facilitate desirable growth.

Connelly also settled in Greenville after his time at ECU, where he played baseball. His assertion that the City Council has been too quick to raise taxes and fees has merit. Connelly, who owns a property management business, wants to see more ECU graduates beginning careers in Greenville.

Connelly is right that higher property taxes and fees for services do not help attract new businesses and industry or expand existing ones. He is right that the city needs to strengthen its infrastructure and properly maintain streets. He falls short, however, in making those valid arguments while also opposing the city’s transportation bond.

Connelly says he favors greenways and sidewalks, but he maintains that funding for those needs should be placed in a separate bond. Although a call for separate bonds initially divided the City Council, a majority of members now agree that the unified bond’s approval is critical to meeting the city’s street maintenance and infrastructure needs.

Connelly has good ideas and a genuine passion for improving Greenville and the quality of life for its residents. He should actively pursue his desire to effect positive change in the city. At this time, however, District 5 voters should retain Croskery to represent them.

 

 

 

Clarification

A line in Friday’s District 4 City Council endorsement editorial incorrectly paraphrased a statement about Greenville’s potential for growth made by Terry Boardman. He said Greenville is not a manufacturing Mecca, so if it is going to be an education and health care hub, it needs to be No. 1. “Let’s make our mark as a college town,” he said.

 

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DR PRIVATE FOR PROFIT BUSINESS

trying to stay afloat. Like any business there are conflicting opinions from within but the bottom line is that advertisement is a larger if not the largest source of income for them. It would be hard not to endorse Dr.Croskery considering his costly large color adds appearing daily on the Reflector asking for our vote. Also consider his association with an extremely influential medical facility also utilizing the Reflector's pages to advertise their services. Folks money talks and until the public decides to become educated on how local government functions and participate in the electoral process the wealthy will continue to control what the city council endorses and how our tax dollars are spend. CONCLUSION; their endorsements don't amount to a pile of beans. P.J. Connelly has my vote. Knocking on 2,200 doors shows a desire to serve. How many doors did Croskery knocked on? How many phone calls from average citizens did he return?

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