People with vision
Thursday, October 12, 2017
The two largest employers in Pitt County are Vidant (6,560) and East Carolina University (5,750), according to the Pitt County Economic Development Commission.
ECU was the vision of educators who looked at an empty field and saw a Teachers College. They persuaded the N.C. General Assembly to appropriate the money to start the educational institution in 1907. It was the tax dollars of the good people of North Carolina that built ECU. Today 29,000 students attend ECU; it has made Greenville the cultural and academic hub of eastern North Carolina
A bigger hospital was the vision of the Pitt County Commissioners in 1972. Originally Pitt County Memorial Hospital (now Vidant), the money to expand it came from the tax dollars of the good people of Pitt County via a $9 million dollar bond. My Uncle Burney Tucker was a member of the commissioners at that time. He was in sales and “never made a payroll,” but he was intelligent, had common sense, and knew the citizens of Pitt County needed a better hospital.
These were people of vision who knew that in order to create a city that is economically vibrant and a pleasant place to live, the community must invest its tax dollars in building the future. Both ECU and Vidant partnered with leaders in the private sector to grow these institutions. Partnerships between private and public institutions strengthen our community.
Calvin Mercer understands this concept. He voted for the Small Business Grant Program to support start-up businesses and the Imperial Warehouse project that took toxic land, cleaned it up and is turning it into a commercial development thus building a stronger tax base.
What will Greenville be in 100 years? Vote for people with vision: Calvin Mercer for mayor, Chris Nunnally for At-Large, and in my District 4, Rick Smiley