Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston has some big plans for the county in the New Year.
Alston recently laid out his vision for the coming 12 months when he said that the county has allocated over $100 million in federal relief funds and seen a $1.7 billion school bond passed – and much of the work now, he added, is to make sure all those projects get completed.
Alston said there are a whole lot of other things the county needs to accomplish in the near future as well.
He made his comments at a December county commissioners’ meeting as he looked forward to 2023 – a year in which Alston will once again be chairman of the board.
Without question, his major priority in the coming year is addressing homelessness in Guilford County.
“We have to focus this year on our citizens who are in need of housing, but also who need our help for substance abuse issues and who have behavioral health needs,” Alston said, noting that those three things are intimately connected.
“We must solve them immediately so that no one in the county in 2023 is sleeping on the streets, on sidewalks or under bridges,” he said passionately.
Alston has already set up a task force to battle homelessness and he began working with county staff on establishing a large, long-term drug treatment center as well as a mental health treatment center.
School construction will be a major focus area for the board in 2023.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us to move the school construction process forward,” he said, adding that a joint committee of commissioners and school board members would oversee those projects.
The county has other major construction projects in progress as well such as tearing down the old county jail and building a new Sheriff’s Department headquarters in its place.
Alston said county residents want to see their government in action in the upcoming year.
“We are the servants of Guilford County citizens, and they are expecting us to work again,” he said.
He added that he wanted to thank his fellow commissioners for allowing him to serve as the “quarterback of a great team.”
A good quarterback, he said, can’t do anything without help from the lineman, running backs and receivers – the other commissioners that make up the team.
“At the end of the day, we must be committed to working together to continue to score touchdowns for our citizens, and may God continue to bless Guilford County in a very special way,” the chairman concluded.