As the new year approaches, folks in the rural parts of the county are hoping it brings them closer to a brighter future.
In Ellerbe, Mayor Olivia Webb looks forward to developing Ellerbe further with the sewer line expansion project along Highway 220 towards Rockingham.
Webb said, “My wishes for Ellerbe in the year 2012 are pretty simple: Health, happiness and prosperity for all our citizens.”
In Norman, Mayor Kenneth Broadway said the new year will bring more involvement with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. He said he hopes people in the town will have more involvement with the sheriff’s deputies, and get to know them and the services they provide. He hopes deputies will be more available to the public. He also hopes that businesses in Norman and outside of Norman will have more involvement in the development of the town.
With the potential of the Norman post office closing next year, Broadway said the town will face whatever comes.
“Whatever the Post Office gives us, we will survive it,” said Broadway. “If they give us lemons, we’ll make lemonade. If we don’t get to keep the Post Office, we are hoping for a Village Post Office.”
The United States Postal Service announced earlier this year that they would be closing hundreds of post offices across the country, and Norman’s was one that came under review. Instead, the Postal Service is proposing a Village Post Office, which will relocate all the services customers are used to into another business nearby.
“I’m hoping that Norman will be more noticed and more traveled,” said Broadway. “I’d love to see the economy get going good. If the economy is good, it benefits everybody.”
As Broadway enters his first year as mayor, he said he will continue to seek the guidance of former mayor Jean Stutts.
“I want to thank her from the whole town of Norman for her services,” said Broadway.
In Hoffman, Mayor Jo Ann Jasper Thomas said she always hopes for the best.
“I want people to have the necessities they need for daily living,” said Thomas. “I hope we can feel safe and that we can all be safe. I will be looking for funding and making plans. We will continue to move forward with the maintenance of the rec building.”
Thomas said she hopes to keep working with the council to make wise decisions, have a positive attitude to be optimistic and to keep the faith.
Dobbins Heights is looking forward to improving the Dobbins Heights Town Park in 2012, and installing new playground equipment, according to council member Angeline David.
“We’re also making plans to improve the community center and improving our tax collection rates,” said David.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling contributed to this article. Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.