Startling Statistics, Startling Contrasts in the Two North Caro...
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#1 Jan 6, 2007
As a resident of Laurinburg for the past several years, I can attest to the marked divide between haves and have nots here, as well as what seems to be a willingness by those who govern (and the Haves) to continue deepening this divide. I can also attest to the imbalanced way of thinking about one's town and neighbors. For instance, although there was a strong show of opposition to the landfill, the commissioners decided to continue to keep it on the table. Word has it that they are the only ones who will benefit financially from this development. My question for them is (if this is true), what will you do with your newly-made money anyway? I am not seeing Laurinburg as a place where being flush is a plus--unless one is saving up to get out.
The imbalanced thinking about one's town and neighbors also shows when businesses give bad service and fail to see the greater rewards of broadening their customer base instead of just catering to those they know. I cannot count the times when I have received poor service and worse attitude--clerks not knowing what to do, servers being surly, etc. It seems that the whole town is unhappy. But perhaps this could change; people will become good customers if they are treated well. If employees were properly trained and owners practiced good customer service themselves, people would do more business in Laurinburg, these businesses would succeed, and so would the town. Sometimes we must reassess our way of doing things when it is proven (and in Scotland County's case, painfully so) not to work.
But the problem may be larger than the need to change an outmoded or ineffective way of doing things. In the years that I have lived here, I have felt a strong push from Laurinburg to go elsewhere. Although I am not one of those outsiders who comes into town blowing hot air about how to make the place better--I understand and respect for preservationist and traditionalist views--I have sensed downright hosility from shopkeepers, service providers, and those to whom I have sought to give my time in volunteering for the greater good. Others I have known here have felt the same, and have either left or are making plans to do so. How can a small, desperate town survive if its residents resist any sort of growth, change, or help from those earnestly trying to help it to survive?
Why Scotland County is confused about the mass exodus of its residents, I do not know; they are given every reason to leave.
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