Oath of Office Speech: Forward in Prosperity

City of Kinston Oath Office

Mayor BJ Murphy

December 2nd, 2013

“Forward in Prosperity”

Video (30 minute mark):  http://tacc9.com/city_council_december_2_2013.htm

Years ago, the people were subject to the will of a ruler. Whatever religion, law or political preference he or she desired was carried out throughout the land. Two hundred and fifty one years ago, the people of Kingston said, “enough”. The people rose up in defiance to claim what was rightfully theirs. We dropped the g, claimed the first Governor of this great state and became a part of the greatest union of states in the world’s history.

Today, the people of our lands choose who lead them. The people’s preferences of character, humility and policy are chosen through a democratic process. And, it is with your votes that you have chosen this body to carry out your wishes through policy.

This body is a reflection of our community. And, although we may have different stories as to how we got here, today we stand as one.

The Kinston Comeback is only just beginning. Our duties as a government body are to shape policies and create an infrastructure that enables you the business owners, you the church leaders, you the civic organizers, you the future of our community to focus on your strengths to make Kinston a great community.

This body might have microphones and a budget, but you have the vocal chords and the pen.

What you can expect from this body is simple. We will be reactive out of necessity, but proactive on purpose.

Government is designed to be a methodical body, responding to the needs of its people through fair and legal means. We will continue policies that provide us with clean water, reliable electricity, good roads and safe neighborhoods.

We will proactively continue the policies that have started this comeback. We will be more aggressive in planning the redevelopment of Kinston. We will be more engaged with recruiting new businesses, both large and small. We will use the power of our offices to strengthen our resolve for growth, using whatever fair and legal means we have available.

We will reduce the phrases of “east” and “west” and instead focus hyper local attention to a street block, a neighborhood, a school zone or highway corridor. We will not stand for a division of communities, but rather focus on solutions for each unique situation.

The slogan of the City of Kinston depicted on our City Seal says, “Forward in Prosperity.” This dream of prosperity can only happen if this body of one, along with its citizens agree that this is our goal…prosperity.

I challenge our citizens to seek out opportunities to serve your neighbors. To be vigilant for your neighborhood. To be engaged with community events and to bring your children along to experience what a community really feels like.

I challenge our staff to treat each interaction with our citizens as an opportunity to serve, for that is what we are here to do.

I challenge the City Council and myself to go out of our way to develop individual relationships with our fellow school board members and county commissioners. Although we aren’t involved in the day-to-day affairs of either body, we are all inter-dependent on each other’s success. The failure of one body is the failure of all.

Furthermore, I challenge us all to be more involved in the lives of our young people. Make it a habit to attend a middle school basketball game, start or support an afterschool program and be involved in the lives of our youth. Learn what Snap Chat is or figure out what Twitter does, because this is where our kids are today. To help them grow and appreciate Kinston, we need to understand them better.

We will never know the exponential impact that we have when we issue an encouraging word, or by taking a group of kids to the Nature Center or by simply showing up at a recital.

Our responsibility is to instill hope. When people say, “I’m from Kinston” I want them to say it with pride. This comeback starts with us.

Prosperity can only be realized when we focus on the strengths of each student, each citizen, each business, each school, each neighborhood and together prosperity will be realized by “we the people” or otherwise known as Kinston.

Much like our forefathers claimed these grounds, today we must claim that we will move in one accord “Forward in Prosperity”.

May God bless our endeavors together.

Thank you.