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Address drainage or face flooding


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Several weeks ago I submitted a letter here situating stormwater as a “gorilla” of a challenge. Let’s be crystal clear. Unaddressed stormwater infrastructure equals flooding. At the last City Council meeting, 50-60 citizens showed up expressing concern about what this council might do on a controversial rezoning. Although the rezoning petition was pulled (it’s now on a future meeting agenda), this many citizens attended, and from sitting on the dias for a decade, I can tell you this number showing up is noteworthy

Even though it was a specific rezoning petition prompting attendance from a diverse collection of citizens, the theme of urging this council to do the right thing on stormwater/flooding ran through most public comment. Still others wanted to speak, but allotted time ran out. The public input came from a financial consultant, land surveyor, medical professional, small business owner, teacher, several retired professionals, and a letter from Stan Riggs, arguably the most knowledgeable person anywhere about the water-based eastern North Carolina environment and its stormwater/flooding challenges. I didn’t know all of the citizens, but the ones I did know lived in various parts of the city, not just in neighborhoods around the rezoning in question.

I worked up close and personal for 10 years with a range of elected officials. Look out that most members of this new council might: (1) “care about” this issue in their flowery political talk but not actually put teeth into fixing it, (2) throw a relatively small amount of money and some seemingly long-range planning at it but without seriously addressing stormwater/flooding in a timely fashion, and (3) address it on the backs of those who suffer from flooding but don’t cause most of it.

Let’s be crystal clear. Unaddressed stormwater infrastructure equals flooding — and citizens get it.

Calvin Mercer



Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


February 19, 2019

Pitt County Schools is moving forward with efforts to make local schools more secure after introducing measures in May 2018. A letter was sent out Feb. 13 from Superintendent Ethan Lenker to parents to inform them of the progress made.

I have read the letter and there are 12 security additions…

February 19, 2019

The construction of an apartment complex will be possible thanks to a rezoning of Fire Tower Road. That sounds good on the surface, and it has many benefits, but it ignores the long-term issues — traffic and crowding.

Greenville city planning has more than likely pondered these issues,…

February 18, 2019

I urge Rep. G.K. Butterfield to vote no on bill H53/S52. This bill has already been presented to the legislature (H575) in 2017. It was not passed then and should not be passed now. It is obviously a method to curtail the rights of people to their reproductive health.

Reps. McElraft, Turner and…

February 18, 2019

Well folks I was going to focus my writing on just art matters. However, after listening again to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s street sweeper speech I’m inclined to combine the two.

Firstly if you have never heard it, just search MLK street sweeper and be prepared to be uplifted and…

February 17, 2019

I read with interest Ralph Tyson’s letter (Republicanism betrays the people, Feb. 7). He stresses “We the People.” Correct, and we the people elected Donald Trump — get over it!

He goes on to say Republicans are not constitutionalists — why don’t you…

February 17, 2019

Just a few short years ago our community came together to help fund the addition of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Vidant Hospital due to the large number of low birth weight babies being born in our region. This state-of-the-art facility helps these tiny persons in their struggle for life…

February 17, 2019

As I visit metropolitan areas to our west, there is clear evidence that many communities have effectively converged on their priorities in very visible ways. And when there is convergence, it seems as if progress is inescapable. I have grandchildren now, and they have experienced numerous…

February 17, 2019

Kudos to Holly Garriott, executive director for Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge, and to ECU professor of music, Carroll V. Dashiell Jr., for coordinating the amazing African American Music Series.

Concerts take place at Emerge Gallery on Evans Street on the second Friday of the month. If you…

February 16, 2019

A big shout-out to Alison Lord Stuart for her piece on voter IDs in Tuesday’s paper.

You are right on the “mark” regarding voter IDs. My husband and I have lived in many states, all of which required a voter ID at election time — until we came to North Carolina.

At each…

February 16, 2019

Last night (Monday, Feb. 11) I attended ECU baseball banquet in the new student union. There were almost 600 people there and they were treated to a great program.

Some facts that were revealed were that this team has a 3.44 grade point average which is the highest in the American Athletic…

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