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Speaking Out: Looking forward to serving 

by: League President and Burlington Mayor Ronnie Wall

I am truly honored to become president of this organization. I know first-hand that the municipal officials are dedicated public servants, and I look forward to working with you.

As city officials, we find ourselves at a social and political crossroads. Both financial pressures and challenges to municipal authority at the General Assembly leave municipalities reexamining the roles and responsibilities of cities and towns.

But what we really have is an opportunity.   A chance to position cities and towns for the renewal that is sure to come if we all work together. It is a new day at the League of Municipalities.  We have new leadership at the Executive Director position, which gives us a new approach and a new outlook.

At CityVision 2014: Charting Our Tomorrow, the focus was on the strategic visioning process that began several months ago but kicked off fully at the conference. At the end of this process, we will have a clearer vision for what we need to do to make sure that municipalities are in the best position to thrive in the future – both short and long term. 

But we cannot move forward without the commitment of every person in this room.  In order to put the League and municipalities on a path toward progress, we each have to be committed to supporting change and embracing a new direction.

One of the first things we as a group must do is to be united as an organization. All villages, cities and towns from the smallest to the largest must unite and work on one accord to bring prosperity for all of us.

In order to move forward, we must build partnerships with our counterparts in county government, elected officials at the state level and other key stakeholders. It’s everyone’s job to build relationships.  We need to actively promote the goals of the League and of municipalities at the General Assembly and in our own communities.

The visioning process is important because it will give us what we need to chart a path that will lead to renewed purpose and vigor for the League as an organization and for municipalities. Having this path will also allow us to be nimble and adjust to whatever challenges may lie ahead. 

But the only way we succeed is if we are united.

At CityVision 2014, speaker Rebecca Ryan – a nationally renowned futurist – asked if North Carolina is future-ready. We will be if we continue to follow our visioning process and remain unified in our purpose.  I look forward to embarking upon and conquering the challenges that lie ahead.