New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | January 23, 2019

Editorial: What I want to see happen in Charles City and New Kent in 2019

By Andre Jones | December 25, 2018 11:59 pm

As the year 2018 comes to a close, I want to thank everybody who has supported the Chronicle. Whether it’s through advertising, submissions, being a location where the paper can be picked up or picking up the newspaper itself, thanking you is the least that the staff of the New Kent-Charles City Chronicle can do.

As I have written editorials for over the last 18 months or so, I decided that this one should be about self-reflection and the future; but not from my standpoint, but from the views I’d like to see both Charles City and New Kent County to take in 2019.

In New Kent, I want to see the continuing push for businesses to unite with the community. There has been a strong connection but with the unprecedented growth, when small businesses reach out to the community, it makes it more profitable for all. I also want to see more recreational programs aimed for the adults. In the past, I’ve participated in adult league basketball in New Kent and it was a pleasurable experience. However, as with many programs, participation can dwindle based on family obligations, taking care of children, work, and so forth. Finding that balance of how to provide programs for adults at a reasonable time frame can do wonders. For example, while a kid may work on arts and crafts, the adult can be playing board games or even volleyball in the gymnasium. With New Kent growing and priorities in keeping people active, it’s something that can be done and can be a driving force with the future plans of the county.

Also in New Kent, I want to see the continuing push for changes to make it easier for citizens to live with the adapting environment. County citizens have lobbied successfully for the repaving of Route 60 and the expansion of Interstate 64, but now there are some things that have been discussed among citizens to continue to keep the county well-balanced. Examples of this include more businesses at the exit 220 (West Point) interchange where it is basically dormant to more affordable housing that doesn’t crowd one specific area in the county. If New Kent can nail that down, then the concerns about it becoming an overpopulated suburb can be eased down a tad bit.

In Charles City, I want the county to continue to push for bigger businesses to make this jurisdiction their home. The transformation is going to take some time, but the opportunities can be there when the county works with the prospective business. The county shouldn’t bargain and beg for a company to make Charles City their home. Instead, show the possibilities of being in a place that can become the establishment of the next generation.

Another thing I want to see in Charles City is upgrading facilities that are used jointly by the county and the schools. The county is already doing a good job by upgrading the social center, but there are needs for the school as well. For anybody who doesn’t know, I am an advocate for sports and opportunities and when I see facilities that need upgrading (especially for the children), then I’m going to push for it. One such example is Charles City High School’s track. While that facility is constructed for students and athletic competition, it is frequented for many other events that include being the main walking facility in the entire county for outdoor exercise, the Charles City Relay for Life, and more. I do know that it was in the school’s Capital Improvement Plan but with heating issues in the school along with the completion of the wastewater treatment plant at Mt. Zion, it was put on the backburner. Still, I personally rather see something like that get redone before the price tag escalates to a range where it may just remain an item that is never addressed.

I am only one voice, but I am glad to use my voice when possible. I encourage others to do so as well. With budget season around the corner, picking up steam and speaking out on issues will be key on what makes the counties that reside, work, and do business in prosper for generations to come. Remember, our goal is to provide ideal situations for our future generations by learning from out past generations and making those necessary adjustments in our present generations.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you all!