The following is a list of the speakers and what they had to say. If you did not attend then watch the video and see them for yourself.
Christy Taylor 103 Green Pasture Rd. – "some interest" "perceived lack of desirability" opposed –
Rosa Brodie – 112 Patterson Drive – support – no benefit coming back to Edgecombe County. Applaud us for a fair approach to economic development for Rocky Mount.
Angela Height – 217 Kingmore Lane – tax increase possibility on Rocky Mount citizens. oppose. Put it on the ballot.
Jane Parvin – Lafayette Avenue – bad allegory about funding plan.
Walter Compton – 712 Mayfair Drive – strengthening families…good, better, best. Is this the best thing we can do? We were in a better financial position then to build a convention center than now. We’re losing professional jobs and tourism industry. Strengthening the family works best.
Lige Daughtridge – downtown business owner. people should vote on a referendum. AECOM quote…need private investment first with restaurants and businesses. How will we get people across the tracks and buses? opposed
Lewis Turner – declined
E L Daughtridge – 1404 Jeremy Lane – property taxes will increase. opposed.
Michael Mosely – 508 Wildwood Ave – if projections are off and losses double, what is the Council’s contingency plan for the revenue loss? Plan sounds too aggressive. Opposed
Allen Hayes – 221 Kandemore Lane – opposed. Why would a foreign investor put money in something that loses money? Every city represented on slide show are larger cities. Rocky Mount still in a recession and people are leaving.
Why would anybody want to come here and buy here when their taxes will increase? We’re paying more than we’re taking in. Average citizen will have to declare bankruptcy.
Mae Parker – 325 Myrtle Ave – support. We must learn to trust our elected officials. This is a good thing for Rocky Mount. Let’s make it good for the young people.
Brent Wester – 6848 Lee Rd. – This is a black and red issue. Not a black and white issue. Business people have been financing this city for years. This will force businesses out of business. Food salesman. These businesses spending other people’s money. This is irresponsible. If we have extra money, let’s spend money to help lower utility bills and invest more in the police force to help people be safe. Opposed
Sue Perry Cole – 251 Rose Street – Support. This is the first time that she has heard of any project in close proximity to downtown and her neighborhood. Spinoff investment occurred in Raleigh. This is not a new development. This project has been supported in the 1940s and 1970s. This idea keeps coming back up for a reason. Proposed facility would complement existing development.
Mayo Boddie – 18 Goose Creek – done a lot of work in real estate locations. Carleton House opened in 1961 and closed in 2002. Downtown Rocky Mount is no longer the center of Rocky Mount. Amenities are already there in other cities. It should be at 64/95. Opposed. Downtown is a dead end.
Robert Davis – 1812 Lynne Avenue – there is nothing to keep young people here. You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Find out how to make this work. We need this convention center. All plans are ideals and maybes. These centers are working fine in other places. Support.
Rodney Linley – 125 Mashie Lane – vehemently opposed. Infrastructure does not exist to support it. This meeting is a checkmark. Put it to a vote.
Frank Bissett – 325 Charlotte Avenue – opposed. We let textiles leave Rocky Mount.
Edward Crews – 1725 Sparrowhawk Lane – opposed. All neighbors against it. $45 million a lot of money. It will be $50 million by the time it’s finished.
Downtown not a good location. He sees a big white elephant.
George Taylor – 616 Hammond Dale Avenue – support. Everything doesn’t have to make profit to be good for the city. Subways are a good comparison. Event Center will precipitate other business…restaurant and hotels.
Johnny Cunningham – feasibility and funding – is it feasible to locate an Event Center where there is poverty, crime and drugs? Opposed. Since December 1,000 people have been rounded up. How much of the $50 million will come?
Lydia Davis – retired social worker/nurse – Happy Hill Association – don’t totally disagree with the Event Center. Quality of life will decrease because poor people will pay more taxes. Their utility bills are excessively high. Asking to focus on Happy Hill. It could get off the ground. It shouldn’t raise taxes on these citizens.
Robbie Davis – live in Dortches – opposed. We are not ready to take on any more debt that will increase property taxes. Paid $63,000 in Rocky Mount City taxes. Businesses and homeowners need tax relief. Population declined by 3,000 people in the last several years.
Shelly Willingham – no show
David Purinai – 204 StonyBrook – all of Rocky Mount needs to prosper. Other stadiums have public/private partnerships. We don’t have any significant private investment. Debt service is going to drive any cash flow flexibility downward. Opposed.
Mary Richardson – 747 Marlboro Place – moved to NC in 1969. Used to the City where the wages are greater, the buildings are bigger and people have things to do. People leave the South and move north because there is nothing here. You can’t get anything for nothing. Growth costs. Support.
Skip Carney – 6303 Point Lane – Opposed. Event Center is guaranteed to lose money. Building this building on the backs of the people who live here is not the way to make our town more attractive and more interesting. This idea is 40 or 50 years past this opportunity. $70 million has already been spent in Downtown Rocky Mount. We have to tackle crime issue. If people believe it’s a reality if people believe so. Jobs are leaving faster than we can create them.
Richard Strawbridge – Compass Street – Rocky Mount is a city demised. Putting a never ending tax burden is not good. This will be a tax burden from the day it’s built to the day it’s torn down. The citizens pay the taxes. The folks who play, pay at the gate. The City doesn’t benefit. People pay the taxes. Opposed. Ask for referendum.
Steve Stevenson – 302 Villa Street – We have a have/have nots and rich/poor problem. We have a fantastic forum for race relations. Rents will go up. Property owners will dump and run. Event Center will increase slum lords. Opposed.
Al Bullard – 321 Delane Drive – Opposed. Citizens need to vote.
Rosa Leonard – live near GoldRock on Hwy 48 – too big for our britches, not enough money and not enough people. We need to get more people who have more money. Location hasn’t been determined. It has to suit the people of Nash County. Opposed.
Peggy Daughtridge – 1404 Jeremy Lane – Who is looking at the negatives on the project? What happens if they build it and they don’t come? What are the cons? Could this be the next Electricities? Opposed.
Genotre Penny Boone – 1601 Hunter Street – we can’t get together in Rocky Mount and do a good job. We get money to do what we want to do. We can do whatever we want to do if we can. Support Event Center and Support it Downtown.
Ed Wiley – 207 E. Thomas Street – why would he leave Raleigh and come to Rocky Mount? His restaurant attracts all people. You have to have faith. They have faith that people will come and prosper. When you build, crime disappears. Build it and they will come! Works = money and investment. Support.
Clyde Gallup – Thorpe Rd – With dreams come reality. We have a declining population. What about Rocky Mount and Wilson do it together? Oppose.
Bill Jones – 528 Woodswalk Lane – There is nothing wrong with Rocky Mount? There are five opportunities to cross the railroad tracks. Support
Bill Lehnes – 11 Litchfield Court – if we don’t do something, our other neighbors will build it. Hotels will be built as a result. He leans in support of the event center. The City Council should have created a study that said it had to be 5.000 seats and Downtown. He thinks it was a mistake. The hotels are full on the weekends. Events need to be held on Sunday – Thursday. A wise job. Oppose. Response – consultant wasn’t told to look at a seat size, but were told to look at Downtown.
Jackie King – 122 Daniels Avenue – Support. City Council should explore all possible avenues. Support multi purpose facility with varied events. Downtown Event Center will bring more state and regional conventions and bring people to Rocky Mount. Please move forward.
Polly Warner – 3604 Woodlawn Rd. – did the City Council consider any alternative site? Would like to propose a site North of the Sports Complex. Should be located near 301/95. There are other ways to use money. Concentrate on Downtown history – trains, textiles, tobacco. We should keep the buildings. We need to promote Downtown as a destination for tourists. Want to vote and where it should be located. Opposed.
Stan Figlewski – 1001 Woodridge Drive – re-evaluation is coming up. Values will decline and taxes will increase. Most people are looking for help with utilities. Extra money should be spent on utility relief. Oppose.
Mary Warren – 318 Ambler Avenue – Support. Proud of the City Council. Without a vision, the City perishes. The Council has a plan. The Council has done their homework. Very proud of the City Council and City Government.
George Birth – 1310 Springfield Rd. – lived in Rocky Mount for 40 years. People need jobs. No jobs, increase crime. Do your job City Council. Make the Event Center happen. Support.
Jeannette Thomas Cobb – there is racial tension. She is a product of the other side of the tracks and of the Old South. She is still seeing the vestiges and remnant of the old South. Support.
Peter Gilliland – Opposed. We need to deal with some other issues first. We do have a racial problem. He has been victimized as a white person in Rocky Mount. This is the most divided against itself place that he has ever been. Difference between vision and fantasy. Lead us together first.
Note: Video coming soon so stay tuned and you can see for yourself however WHIG-TV and WNCR-TV will be playing it on their station before I can get my video up.