Editorial: Wendell leaders face chicken and egg debate

May 18, 2013 

So, as we understand it, Wendell commissioners James Parham and Christie Adams agree on the basic tenets of the town’s new economic strategy for recruiting business.

They both certainly agree they want more businesses in Wendell and fewer empty store fronts. They both agree they would like to see stronger schools in eastern Wake County. They don’t exactly agree on what kind of housing mix the town needs when it comes to housing for low-, moderate- and high-income residents.

Of course, reasonable people can disagree on a matter and come to terms with each other on a path to resolution. We hope that Parham and Adams will look for ways to accomplish what both leaders want: A more vibrant housing market for residents whose children attend strong schools.

There is no quick and easy answer here. Neither Adams nor Parham is really wrong.

Parham’s argument for stronger schools is a familiar refrain people in this region have been shouting for some time now.

And, it’s hard to argue against Adams’ belief that a $300,000 home would mean more to the town than a house valued at $120,000. Simply put, the more expensive house generates more tax money for the town.

The question for Wendell is where to jump in on this circular argument.

If commissioners can find a way to settle on one primary focus in their economic development effort, they will ultimately succeed.

On the other hand, if they continue to debate the question of which is most important, then we all lose valuable time moving the town toward a greater prosperity.

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