Clerk to the Board:
Paula Woodard
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Physical Address:
Courthouse - B-206
207 E. Johnston Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
 
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1049
Smithfield, NC 27577
 
Phone: 919-989-5100
Fax: 919-989-5179
State of the County Address for 2015

2015
State of the County Address
Johnston County, North Carolina

I would like to thank the Board of County Commissioners for their confidence in me to lead this Board. I want to also thank Commissioner Carver for his leadership this past year. I would like to take a moment and review some of the accomplishments of the past year.

The County is financially sound. Our Board has a financial policy and we are meeting that policy. Our conservative approach will continue as we carry out our responsibility as guardians of the taxpayers’ dollars.

We hosted the bond rating agencies last winter to showcase the County. Johnston County is one bond rating upgrade from being rated AAA with Standard and Poors and two upgrades from being rated AAA with Moody’s. We feel we are deserving of a bond rating upgrade in 2015, and will do everything within our control to make that a reality.  Our next conversation with the bond rating agencies will occur this spring when we sell the second set of general obligation bonds from the 2013 bond referendum.

One initiative that is near and dear to our hearts is the Johnston County Teen Driver program. We continue to be so proud of the Johnston County Teen Driving Safety Committee and JoCo Teen Drivers. Because of the success of this initiative, adult and student leaders gave a presentation at the fall 2014 North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. We have received positive feedback from this presentation and have even had a couple counties in North Carolina request more information from us regarding the program.

We are excited about our Economic Development program. The office recently moved to the new Johnston Regional Airport. We will continue to be aggressive with not only recruiting industry, but also assisting our current industry partners. Also, the first economic development strategic plan was completed during the past year.

We amended our cell tower ordinances to make Johnston County more attractive for new towers so our citizens can have the kind of service they deserve.

We established a recreation and open space funds disbursement policy and approved more than $400,000 in projects for municipalities and rural athletic associations.

In 2015, the Board will continue to work hard to make Johnston County all it can be for our citizens. As we have stated in the past, the Johnston County Commissioners are in the customer service business and I challenge the County Manager and all County agencies to continue providing great customer service. Further, we enjoy a great working relationship with Johnston County Schools and Johnston Community College and that will continue as we all work together to find solutions to the growing demands.

I’m sure everyone on this Board will agree that we need to stay aggressive with economic development efforts. We need to continue supporting agriculture in Johnston County. It is, and has always been, the backbone of our local economy.

We will continue to explore drinking water options for the citizens in the County. I would also ask Board members to continue sharing our legislative priorities with our delegation in Raleigh and Washington D.C.

Thanks to fellow Board members for your dedication individually and collectively.

Tony Braswell
Chairman, Johnston County Board of Commissioners
January 5, 2015