Stormwater plan good step
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Over Mayor P.J. Connelly’s objection, the Greenville City Council finally passed an acceptable stormwater plan. It wasn’t the strongest possible plan to protect citizens and property from flooding, but it was much better than a weaker plan supported by the mayor. Mayor Connelly said in opposition to the stronger stormwater/flooding plan that passed, “We’re setting ourselves up for failure.” (Reflector, 4/12/19) He wants a weaker plan to address flooding! Wow. Is he living in flood-prone eastern North Carolina? Was he around for Fran and Floyd?
This stormwater/flooding plan is a good first step. Now what? Three things. First, even if done over Mayor Connelly’s objections, make the Horizons Land Use Plan — approved by the previous council with overwhelming citizen input and support — worthwhile by passing strong implementing ordinances. This should have been done last year. Again, I ask, what interests in this city don’t want strong zoning ordinances, many of which would help protect from flooding?
Second, at least stick to the current Horizons Plan, weak as it is without new implementing ordinances. Opposing questionable rezonings benefitting narrow interests, and harming the rest of us, is a long battle in Greenville. This council doesn’t inspire confidence on this front. That must change.
Third, aggressively go for state and federal monies to help fund stormwater/flooding projects, freeing local funds for even more projects. One example: when I was on council, we creatively financed the expensive Town Creek Culvert project, now underway, using a state loan saving city taxpayers tons of money. Always work aggressively getting as much of the tax money we send to Raleigh and DC back here working for us.
Hurricanes just do their job. Our elected officials must do theirs—on all fronts.
The writer is the former at-large representative on the Greenville City Council.