Michael Julian, Candidate for Rowan County Commission, Addresses Rowan County’s Pivotal Challenges

Posted on March 12, 2018

RFP Staff/Michael Julian, Rowan County Commission Candidate

♦ West End Plaza is major concern of mine. The prior board purchased the Salisbury Mall for literally pennies on the dollar.  Back when the Mall was being purchased I thought initially the county was misusing taxpayer money in this facility.  When I looked further into the purchase and read the County’s space needs studies, I began to see the Board’s vision and it made good fiscal sense.

When the current board took office they canceled contracts thus stopping any move to the West End Plaza. That move cost our taxpayers money. I want us to get back on track and move governmental offices to the West End Plaza along with some private business and truly create what is a valuable asset for the county. I know that Greg Edds, Judy Klusman, and Jim Greene don’t want to make this move because their Downtown Salisbury real estate friends don’t want to let go of the steering wheel.  Edds and Green insure their buildings and the county taxpayers be danged.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools is my passion. For years I worked within our local schools either as a Booster Club member, president, or just helping in a concession stand. I worked with our course program at East Rowan High School for several years for no other reason than I love our students and are someone they know they can talk to and someone who cares about their well-being. I believe our schools can be excellent again. We have good teachers, but they are restricted by the “one to one” conversion and being forced to use digital media much too early in our children’s education. I think a change in leadership may solve this issue along with a change in school policy.  I am not against the use of technology, but I believe we are introducing it too early and there are many parents and teachers who are of the same mind.

Water and Sewer is extremely vital to our the County. I see how important it is to our county’s growth. Without this ultra important infrastructure in place we can not grow and economically prosper. There are developers ready to start work once the infrastructure is in place in the southern and northern ends of the county. Commissioner Greene stated during a commission meeting they will do the project if the county can afford it. I say the county can’t afford not to fund the project. Let’s be realistic, I want industrial development in Rowan County, but what is in the immediate future is housing. Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties have the business and people are looking to move into a community having lower taxes and safety. Let’s embrace what we have now and that’s being a bedroom community.  Industry will come, but it may be a decade down the road.

Veterans and the homeless veterans are two groups we need to address. Our veterans sacrificed for our country and we need to make sure they are cared for. We have moved veterans services to the West End Plaza and created an inviting location for them to get the help needed. Many veteran homeless, some with mental illness, sadly roam the streets of Salisbury. We need to create a place they can call home, have an address, and get off of Salisbury’s unsafe streets.  Some may become contributing members of society with structure and guidance.

I am committed, if elected, to frequently visit every municipality in the county. We have 10 municipalities in Rowan County, not just one, and they are all important to Rowan’s success. If I am elected I will be a commissioner who represents all of the county not just one part.

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