A Tale of Two Counties: Rowan and Cabarrus

Posted on May 18, 2016

Todd Paris, RFP staff writer and Salisbury Attorney

♦ On Saturday I was fortunate to be able to attend Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s 2016 Graduating ceremony at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center in Concord, NC. The ceremony was well done and all graduates are to be congratulated. RCCC is a wonderful institution and we are so lucky to be paired with Cabarrus County in this endeavor. It is a wonderful, modern large facility that Rowan would never be able to afford with our second ball-field project and West End Plaza renovation under way.

Among notables invited to speak, was Steve Morris, Member of the Board of Trustees and the Chair of Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners. He is the owner of the Gem Theater in Kannapolis NC and spoke fondly of his days matriculating at N.C. State and UNC-Charlotte. More notable was his mention, by name, of half dozen or so major corporations already landed or on their way to Cabarrus County and the prediction that his area is expecting a 40% growth in population in the next decade or so. Cabarrus County seems to be in great hands, with a top notch EDC that can really “land the jobs.”

Rowan County Commission Chair Greg Edds spoke next. He is said to be the past Chair of “State Farm PAC” (which many believe works incessantly to increase the profits of the insurance industry in NC) and how he won his first election and was immediately elected Chairman. Edds spoke at length about George Washington and “the character of an honest man” and more about Abraham Lincoln and something about a world war two fighter pilot and fifty caliber machine guns and other stuff. Well, I and had to the bathroom and didn’t catch it all, but I’m sure it was inspirational.

When I returned, I asked my seatmates if he mentioned any new industrial projects recruited by Robert Van Geons at “RowanDoesntWork” or any positive growth predictions for Rowan. Nope. How about Rowan’s new $500,000.00 “re-branding effort” that so far has produced little more than the advice not to be so hard on ourselves? Nope. The closest person to me said she really didn’t remember much substantive, but that the fighter pilot story was inspirational. I asked if he mentioned where he attended college. Nope.

Edds shouldn’t feel bad. Cabarrus is a hard act to follow. If he really wanted to advise these graduates, perhaps he should have just honestly told them to stay “south of the border” for now. Robert Van Geons and “RowanDoesntWork” continues to fail, his School Superintendent has alienated three-fifths of the county and has presided over further falling test scores despite her new headquarters and million dollar student computer “give-away,” and crime, violence and drug addiction continue to skyrocket.

We are so lucky to be paired with Cabarrus County. Many of their jobs are within driving distance.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s 2016 Commencement Photos:

Bob Jones University Alum, Insurance Salesman, and Current Rowan County Commission Chairman Gregg Edds:

RCCC Grads and Their Families and Friends:

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