Opening Day – Down East Wood Ducks

I woke my girls up this morning with an excited shake telling them we’ve worked for 5 years to bring baseball back to Kinston. FIVE YEARS!

Also this morning at a Lenoir County Public Schools Legislative breakfast, LCPS Board Chair Jon Sargeant spoke about doing the impossible in our schools and he referenced this very day…the day we welcome professional baseball back to where it belongs. Our community is doing something many thought could not happen…the impossible!

The field is ready! The stadium is in incredible shape thanks to our City Management, City Council, and Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Dept.

And we’ve ordered beautiful weather for you. đŸ˜‰ See you tonight #DEWD fans! Let’s go Down East Wood Ducks! Thank you Texas Rangers!

Hurricane Matthew Six Months Later

Six months ago today, I left the house about 4pm to pick up a sappy movie for my wife at the Redbox, then I would swing by the Kinston Public Services operations center to say thanks to our employees working the 24 hour service calls through the heavy rain, and off to the Kinston Department of Fire and Rescue to say hello to Chief Crawford. You see the spaghetti model shown was the projected path of #HurricaneMatthew as of 6:51 am. One of the other pictures I took was in front of Bojangles on Vernon Avenue at 2:30 am the next morning…amazed at the number of abandoned cars. Little did we know the true path, the amount of rain from Raleigh to the coast, and the number of lives that would be lost.

I never made it to the fire station as we opened our Emergency Operations Center around 5:00 pm, effectively calling a curfew for our 21,000 citizens. As I watched our Kinston Police Department, Fire, and Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Dept. professionals literally triage over 300 rescue operations in Kinston alone, it became apparent that the City of Kinston employees are some of the finest in the country. And, that we work with the best and brightest at Lenoir County Emergency Services, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, NC Emergency Management, and North Carolina National Guard.

Because of their tireless bravery and training many lives were spared.
  

 

Alzheimer’s Memory Walk

Great meeting Anna Bulszewicz with WCTI NewsChannel 12 today and thankful she helped emcee the 3rd annual Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. We have 2,000 residents in Lenoir County affected by dementia and there’s no cure or survivors. Please pray for a cure.

 

WITN7 – Hurricane Matthew After Six Months

Our Planetarium hosted their first school group this week nearly 6 months after #HurricaneMatthew. Very thankful for all the volunteers who helped us replace floors, scrub displays, paint and more. See some of the results for yourself in this video and then stop by soon!

WITN Anna Phillips
April 6 at 10:10pm ·
The Neuseway Nature Park’s Planetarium & Science Museum reopened on Wednesday and the Nature Center should be ready by May. Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Dept. staff have been working alongside community volunteers for months… as local leaders like Mayor BJ Murphy and Neuse Sport Shop President & CEO Russell Rhodes work to get legislators talking about how to minimize future flood risk.
http://www.witn.com/content/news/Neuseway-Nature-Center-near-reopening-six-months-since-Hurricane-Matthew-418581793.html

City of Goldsboro Passes Flood Prevention Resolution

Happy to announce that the City Government of Goldsboro, NC has also adopted a Flood Prevention Resolution for the Lower Neuse River Basin in addition to the City of Kinston and Lenoir County. Mayor Chuck Allen and his team showed strong leadership during Hurricane Matthew and I’m honored to serve alongside him.

  
    

City of Kinston Visits NCGA for Flood Prevention

Very productive meeting with NC House Majority Leader John Bell, Deputy Senate Pro Tem Louis Pate, and Representative George Graham. Also, had a great meeting with Don Davis. We discussed multiple issues including the Neuse River Basin, a revolving loan pool to facilitate more dilapidated housing demolition, the future of the NC Global TransPark, and more. We are very lucky in Kinston and Lenoir County to have this group working on our behalf!

Mayor blames Charlotte mayor for loss of World Series event

Mayor BJ Murphy
Statement after NJCAA removes 2017 Division III Baseball World Series
10/3/2016

Good afternoon.

As you may know this past week the city of Kinston was informed by the NJCAA that we are losing the third year of a three-year deal for the division 3 baseball World Series.

And as I stated in my letter pleading for reconsideration, the cost to our economy is $350,000, but more importantly the truer cost will be missed opportunities to help mold and shape the lives of our young boys who simply want to play baseball and who look up to these Collegiate athletes.

So today I’m going to discuss the process under which ordinances and laws are made and I’ll call on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts to take action based on the olive branch extended to her 3 weeks ago, which could’ve saved Kinston from losing the JUCO World Series.

As a mayor of a municipality in the state of North Carolina it is common knowledge by all locally elected officials that we are creatures of the state…meaning the state of North Carolina allows counties and municipalities to exist.

They create our borders…they allow us to pass ordinances that affect our communities.

But never should they allow us to pass an ordinance, a city-wide ordinance, that would have statewide implications.

Even after repeated warnings by state leaders about the unlawfulness of her ordinance, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts instigated an unnecessary fight with state leaders by drafting and passing a local ordinance that could have implications in the other 530+ cities and towns across our state.

Then, accordingly, the state leadership stepped in on behalf of the other cities and towns and ensured we would not be beholden to the City of Charlotte.

What has ensued next has been a polarization of policy and an unfortunate series of tournament departures.

Just as recently as three weeks ago the mayor of Charlotte had an opportunity to have a constructive dialogue with the state of North Carolina to right this ship.

However, Mayor Roberts chose politics over policy.

Mayor Roberts chose politics over the people.

And Mayor Roberts chose politics over Kinston’s youth.

Most everyone knows when I was elected almost 7 years ago that I was the first Republican to serve Kinston since Reconstruction.

And one would also know that I have served with an all Democratic City Council.

However, on a local level we fix potholes, we sit down and discuss economic strategies to move our communities forward. We put the interest of our citizens ahead of party politics.

So, we’re proud to now run on non-partisan platforms, because that is what we do…non-partisan work.

Which leads me to Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

Instead of being the kind of leader who sits down and discusses differences. Instead of working through challenges in a constructive dialogue, Mayor Roberts has chosen political discourse.

Had she taken the olive branch extended by the Governor the City of Kinston could still have the NJCAA Baseball division 3 World Series playing in Kinston next summer.

Kinston’s youth are the victims of Mayor Robert’s politics.

And that is unfortunate for us all.

Simply because an item is not on an agenda does not mean it cannot be discussed at a council meeting.

And considering the Statewide and National discussion on this topic one would think that the Mayor of Charlotte would have enough knowledge to have a sensible discussion with her council members on this subject.

I believe she intentionally withheld discussion at her meeting three weeks ago in an attempt to stonewall more discussion simply because it’s an election year.

So, today I’m calling on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts to take Governor McCrory up on his olive branch…his offer to have a more meaningful discussion once Charlotte City Council repeals their ordinance which could have statewide implications.

And, in doing so, maybe she can save other rural communities just like Kinston from the devastating effect from the loss of income our small business operators will experience next summer.

Thank you.

WITN Coverage of the Press Conference

Kinston Free Press Coverage of the Press Conference

Letter Exchange with NJCAA about Decision to Remove the 2017 Div III Baseball World Series

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts