Garner Council members opened debate last week about the possibility of changing a well-known road name. We wish they wouldn’t change it from Jones Sausage Road.
We understand the thinking behind the Economic Development Corporation’s suggestion: High tech companies are not as likely to be as intrigued by the specs on industrial property when the road name sounds like it came out of the 1940s. That’s not hip enough. Not tech-y enough.
But we also believe that any company unwilling to consider an industrial site for no other reason that the name of the road is not likely to be in business long because its owners are clearly not making sound basic decisions.
There is, however, a strong reason to keep the name – and an economic development one to boot. Historic names like Jones Sausage Road imply a sense of place and a sense of character. They bear out a community’s long-standing presence. Those are qualities any company would be happy to be associated with.
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If council members opt for the suggested new name – New Hope Road – Garner loses just a little bit more of its unique nature. It becomes just that much more like a Raleigh suburb, no different than Cary, Apex or Knightdale. Garner doesn’t really want to be any of those towns or cities. It wants to be Garner. Jones Sausage, when it operated in Garner, was a solid corporate citizen and its successors were as well for many years.
Companies that aspire to that kind of philosophy are the kinds of companies we want in Garner. Companies that would turn their noses up at part of our history are not.