There were two main themes that ran thick through the Wednesday, Sept. 20 “State of the County” address given by Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston.
One, Guilford County is doing very, very well right now and, two, we are all One Guilford, and therefore, all in this together.
During the address, Alston was very animated at times while speaking from a podium in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro. He spoke to county commissioners, other state and local elected leaders, county staff and interested people who showed up just to hear what Alston had to say. The presentation was also livestreamed on the internet and broadcast on Spectrum’s local government television channel.
Alston spoke passionately about all the economic development success the county has seen in recent years – as well as the passage of one of the largest school bond referendums in the country.
He spoke of the many other ways the county has been making big moves lately.
Toward the end of the one-hour presentation, Alston also hit on some of the areas – such as homelessness, mental health issues, the substance abuse crisis, and other challenges – that the county and its municiple partners need to address.
“We’re still feeling the impact of the opioid epidemic,” he said.
Alston went on to speak about the proactive ways the county is confronting all of those problems.
In the speech – which was interlaced with videos of other commissioners and community leaders making comments themselves – Alston spent a good deal of time talking about the projects around the county made possible by the $104 million of American Rescue Plan (ARP) money that Guilford County government received and handed out. The money is now being used to support community-based services and infrastructure projects across the county.
“I am more optimistic today about our county’s future than ever before,” Alston said during the speech. “We are poised to welcome thousands of new jobs, open the first schools built with the $2 billion voter-approved school construction bonds and expand access to care for thousands.”
Alston also pleaded for people in the county to work to keep things moving forward.
“I call on every citizen to keep the momentum we have created in the last two years going, to innovate, to challenge the way things have always been done, and to build a stronger community, together.”