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Setting infrastructure priorities like water and sewer for growth…JoCo is finding it has to do this…so does Selma.

As much as people don’t want to hear this, the Town of Selma should have been spending more time and money on stuff like this rather than on “feel good” projects like a civic center, a swimming pool, a tennis court, and others. The town should have been taking action instead of just talking about the idea of upgrading and expanding our existing water and sewer system. We cannot “expand the tax base” if we cannot get development and we cannot get growth in housing and industry development if we do not have the infrastructure to support it.

This is going to be a hard thing to face and difficult decisions will be ahead for Selma. We need to set our priorities and work the priorities FIRST. Just as Johnston County is finally moving to improve its infrastructure, we need to do the same in Selma.


Johnstonian News candidate profile article

The Johnstonian News has posted their profile article on me in today’s edition. Here is the link and the text of the article in case you are not a subscriber. He got the wrong information on the “native of…” part. I was born there and was only there for the first six months of life. Both of my parents were from New Hampshire and they were staying in FL at the time. The only attachment I have to Jacksonville is that it appears on my birth certificate and I have a cousin that still lives there. I grew up in New Hampshire, went to school there, and moved to NC in 1988 when I took a job at NCSU.

SELMA — This country has many layers of government — town, county, state, federal.
Selma Town Council candidate Troy LaPlante thinks that first level is most important.

“Municipal government is the level of government that affects everyone the most, whether people realize that or not,” he said. “A town can affect the roads you drive; the color of your house; how you use your property; your electricity, water and sewer rates and access; tax rates on the items you buy and the property you own; the public safety protection you receive; your leisure activities; and your quality of life.”

And the municipal level is where LaPlante wants to serve. “I want to ensure that we have a balance of freedom and responsibility in our community and local government,” he said.

Selma’s challenges are common to many small towns in North Carolina, LaPlante said. “We have a challenge ahead with town infrastructure for water, sewer and facilities that need to be addressed,” he said. “We also have issues with setting priorities on what we spend our tax dollars on while maintaining our commitments to public safety.” LaPlante knows where he would start. “First, we need to commit to fixing the issues we have had for decades,” he said. “We have crumbling sewer lines that are over a century old, and (we) have to turn away development because of inadequate water and sewer availability. We need to maintain and replace existing lines as well as prepare for future expansion if we are going to grow as a town.”

“These are things we should have been doing years ago,” LaPlante said. “Along with that, we need to stop spending money on things that are ‘nice ideas’ but just cannot be a priority for the town.”

About Troy LaPlante

Age: 53, a native of Jacksonville, Florida.

Education: 1986 graduate of Franklin High School, Franklin, New Hampshire; 1988 graduate of New Hampshire Vocational Technical College with a degree in fire protection.

Occupation: engineer with Spectrum Reach, the advertising

This is as true locally as it is nationally

I came across this quote from James Garfield, who became the 20th President of the United States. It is just as relevant to our local Town Council and Mayor here in Selma. As a Congressman, Garfield had stated at the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1876:
“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress.
If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.
If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”