Mayor Ronnie Williams delivered his State of the Town address to Garner residents Monday night and he spent part of his time looking ahead.
What he sees – and what we see, as well – is nearly unbridled opportunity. 2016 may well be the year Garner begins to realize some of its untapped potential. Though the Southwest Wake Expressway – the southern portion of the 540 Loop – won’t be completed in 2016, its location should be determined. That decision alone, will free up a lot of land for property owners who might like to cash in on the ongoing development of the Triangle.
It also gives the town government an opportunity to think critically about how they would like to see development take place along that corridor. That’s important, because 2016, as Wiliams noted, is the year the town will begin to revisit it’s comprehensive growth plan. Now, such a plan might seem like a lot of inside-government kind of stuff to most of us. But the fact is, Garner hasn’t grown the way it has by happenstance. It has grown in a more orderly fashion because town leaders have tried to look many years down the road to imagine what Garner might look like well into the future.
To be sure, there have been hiccups and roadblocks along the way. No plan and no one’s best intentions are ever without some unforeseen hurdle.
As Garner works to develop that plan this year, it will be important that a great many people include their voices in in the chorus of opinions and ideas. Town council members do not hold a patent on all the good ideas and we are sure they would be the first to admit that. The very best plans include ideas and suggestions from soccer moms to large landholders, from the local barber to the manager of the town’s largest business, from civic clubs and churches and so on.
So look for an opportunity to involve yourself in that process in 2016 and, in so doing, you’ll help ensure that next year’s State of the Town address will include another long list of superlative achievements for the town of Garner.