Impact of CSX hub would be tremendous
The CSX intermodal hub has the potential of delivering a tremendous economic boost to Johnston County. The state-of-the-art project is expected to provide as many as 1,500 statewide jobs, 300 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs at the terminal. It will be a $250 million investment and represent the new wave in commercial transportation.
We acknowledge that the project has been a challenging situation for many. However, the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce and other chambers in the county continue to vigorously support the CSX project.
The chamber’s mission is to encourage and promote business and economic development in our area. The outpouring of support we have received from our members and others throughout Johnston County has been remarkable.
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We need these jobs. This area has lost more than 6,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 20 years. The towns on the Interstate 95 corridor are now the poorest in Johnston County, with median household income only 50-60 percent of the county average. The hub jobs will pay two to three times the county average, and additional jobs will be created with major distributors wanting to locate nearby.
In CSX, we welcome a national transportation company that will provide economic stability for many years to come, that can help Johnston County become a transportation and logistics center for North Carolina and that invests heavily in the communities it serves.
President, Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce
Johnston County deserves better
When I decided to run for the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, I knew I would face challenges as our community’s first transgender candidate for office. What I did not imagine was that I would find myself with such a unique opportunity to have conversations with Johnston residents about the future of our community and our state.
The conversations I have had only magnify the shameful degree to which the governor and General Assembly have attempted to stoke base fears of the unknown with House Bill 2. I am inspired by the growing chorus of voices on both sides of the aisle who are seeing this discriminatory smear and attack on our local government for what it is – costly political theater. Johnston County voters deserve better, and I intend to offer them a different approach than “divide and conquer.”
My name is Wendy Ella May. I have been coming to Johnston County since my early teens. My journey led me to work in Congress before I graduated from high school, and I later served in the U.S. Army. I was a career and volunteer firefighter for more than 30 years and led a 9/11 recovery team at Ground Zero. I now run a farm and not-for-profit in Selma that serves veterans struggling with challenges from PTSD to homelessness.
My entire life I have been an advocate for others. I am ready to show Johnston County that we are much more united in our interests than we are divided. Whether it’s the politicians in Raleigh pulling the wool over our eyes as they chip away at our community’s right to determine its own destiny, or the Johnston County Board of Commissioners playing politics with the future of hard-working property owners and farmers, all of our citizens deserve better. I will be a champion for the people of Johnston County and a commissioner for all.
I look forward to getting to know you over the next six months and to hearing your ideas about what our future could be.
Wendy Ella May
Candidate, Johnston County Board of Commissioners District 2
Just say ‘no’ to CSX hub
I want to know what part of “no” Four Oaks Mayor Linwood Parker doesn’t understand.
Parker and his buddies don’t care about the people and the land they want to destroy. I want to know who gives him the right to put up for sale land that my family has owned for more than 100 years?
My family has had members who fought Hitler, the Japanese, the North Vietnamese and other Communists who wanted to take what was ours. Eminent domain is not something we should be hearing; they shouldn't have the right to force anyone to sell what they don’t want to sell.
There will be no jobs for the people of Four Oaks like they are promising. Where are the jobs that were coming when Parker got the federal grant for the industrial park? Parker and his friends will be at the beach with their money and the people left in Four Oaks will have 30-plus trains a day seven days a week. Constant noise and traffic.
Government at its worst
As a property owner and concerned citizen of Four Oaks, I attempted to attend the Four Oaks Board of Commissioners meeting on April 11.
I arrived 45 minutes earlier than the posted time of the meeting to find that only a select few would be allowed into the meeting chambers. I and somewhere between 100 and 150 people were left outside, unable to hear anything that was being said.
This was government at its worst, with the majority attempting to attend this important meeting affecting the future of the town and surrounding countryside feeling disenfranchised.
We the people of Four Oaks and the extraterritorial jurisdiction expect better from our elected officials. As one speaker I saw on a video from the meeting said to the commissioners, “Shame on you. Shame on you.” The elected leaders knew that the proposed CSX intermodal hub was a hot topic item, and poor planning for the meeting is no excuse to the majority being left out of the process.
From my own research, I feel the introduction of the CSX hub to our area would destroy pristine farm land and harm the peace and tranquility of our little town. It would also devastate many families if they are forced to sell their land through eminent domain, with little in return for the community other than noise, congestion and pollution. Is a larger tax base for the town worth the disruption to its citizens? I think not.
I would like to compliment Police Chief Anderson and the other five or six officers for the professionalism they displayed before, during and after the meeting.
James R. Norris