This week, Mayor Roberson’s Transition Team met to begin the ongoing collaborative discussion about the challenges and opportunities for Rocky Mount. This group of trusted individuals was brought together by Mayor Roberson and his Transition Director, Kevin Jones. The purpose of this team is to bring a group of leaders and key players from all communities within Rocky Mount to not only discuss the significant issues in our city but to come up with bold ideas as to how we can address those issues.“I know enough to know that there are issues I need to seek a better upstanding of,” admitted Mayor Roberson. “I asked Mr. Jones to help me bring a group around the table to provide insight into issues that are not always visible to me. Each perspective is unique and equally important,” stated Roberson.The process of getting this team together involved reaching across political, county, racial, and all other dividing lines to make sure that every voice in the city has the opportunity to be heard. Meant to be a holistic representation of the citizens of Rocky Mount, the group is composed of law enforcement, faith leaders, leaders of local and national non-profits, members of the business community, K-12 administrators, teachers, and parents. The group will also be working closely with Nash and Edgecombe Community Colleges. “Ultimately, we want to make sure that the decisions of our Mayor and our Council are informed through as many channels as possible,” Jones said.The team includes the following members: Dr. Kendrick Alston, Lisa Bulluck, Michael Deloach, Leon Dupree, Bill Farmer, Mark Frohman, Michael Girouard, Gen. Arnold Gordon-Bray, Pam Gould, Robert Hart, Taukarri Hilton, Brian Hopkins, Demeka Johnson, Jesse Lewis, Ricky Parks, Tarrick Pittman, Kirby Slade, Jassmin Smith, Keisha Spivey, Kenny Sumner, Brittney Sutton, Christy Taylor, Tina Taylor, Roderick Tillery, Jeff Tobias, Victor Ward, Wendy Wilson.“It was important that this group collectively be able to not only empathize with but relate to our entire city,” Jones said when asked about the group’s make-up.
The Mayor's Transition Team will focus mainly on two areas as we move into 2020. The first area of focus is on schools and jobs. During the first meeting, the Transition Team began to explore the challenges Rocky Mount faces from both an academic perspective and an economic perspective. Much of the discussion was about the root causes of these challenges and where they intersect.Another focus area for the team is safety in our neighborhoods. Initial discussions included street violence, drug abuse, human trafficking, re-entry, and wrap-around support of our youth. Beyond short-term approaches, the team also discussed long-term methods that can be used to build community support and collaboration among law enforcement, non-profits, religious organizations, schools, businesses, and all other community stakeholders.
This group is just the beginning of what Mayor Roberson hopes will be an inclusive conversation about how to strengthen the city using the resources of Rocky Mount’s knowledgeable and dedicated citizens. This team will serve as the eyes and ears of the community. After identifying the issues, the group hopes to work together on ideas and potential solutions to fit the context of Rocky Mount. These ideas are meant to aim for action, but require the involvement of the community to carry out an initiative aimed at making Rocky Mount an even better, safer place to live.“Our goal in publishing the names of our Transition Team members is to open up the conversation to the public,” said Mayor Roberson. “Reach out to these individuals with concerns or questions about what is going on in the community,” encouraged the Mayor.