Editorial: Start the year on a high note | Opinion

Eagle, by Earl Wright and Joe Caliri, who have continued to brighten up Christmas Day for local children this year with their bicycle gifts.

Wright assembled nearly 1,000 bikes for his 26th annual Project Santa in southern Moore County this year. Hosting the giveaway with a squad of volunteers outside the Walmart parking lot in Aberdeen, Wright oversaw the pairing of hundreds of donated and refurbished bikes.

It wasn’t until last year, after his adult son was murdered, that Wright felt he lacked the courage to continue the tradition. But his love for children at Christmas brought him back better than ever.

Wright’s impact goes far beyond the recipients. In Robbins, 11-year-old Joe Caliri hosted his second similar bike giveaway for the kids in North Moore.

“Joe has always been generous and generous,” said his mother Ann Caliri.

Joe donated around 40 new and rebuilt bikes last year. This year it was double.

“Joe understands,” said his father, John, “that Christmas is a time to help people. “

Birdie, by the Town of Whispering Pines for agreeing to the idea of ​​surveying residents to get a feel for how things are going

Normally, municipal governments are in some way available to the public and do not envision a regular, systemic way of knowing what their “clients” are thinking. New York City Mayor Ed Koch is famous for riding in subway cars and stood around street corners asking the simple question, “How am I?” “

Surveys can be great tools for local government. Pinehurst is leading the way, locally anyway, with an annual survey sent to residents to gauge feedback on operations and services. Now the village of Whispering Pines is planning to conduct a similar investigation.

The number of questions and the method of distribution are still being worked out, as is what the village will actually do with the results. A simpler poll than the one produced by Pinehurst could be released in March. Village council members will be working on it again later this month, but they are well on their way to getting feedback from residents.

Birdie, by Bonnie McPeake and her family for their continued success in running a series of local hotels in the area.

The McPeakes’ newest project, the Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen, recently received an HGI Strong, Brighthearted award. This achievement rewards the top percent of the region’s Hilton Garden Inns based on guest experience.

Operating a hotel during the coronavirus pandemic of the past two years can be one of the most difficult businesses, especially in terms of retaining staff and maintaining service levels. The McPeakes managed to do this, while also operating two other local hotels. The final honor for the Hilton Garden Inn recognizes this with the honor of customer service.

“We’ve been able to hire some really good people and that’s been a big part of our success here,” said General Manager David Byers.

Birdie, by Robbins City Manager Clint Mack for enlisting the city in a program that helps soldiers prepare to leave the military to find new civilian careers in public service.

Robbins is the smallest municipality involved in the Local Government Veterans Management Fellowship, in which soldiers are posted for six or 12 week periods to work alongside city employees to gain insight into the possibilities. careers.

Mack, himself a veteran, said he didn’t have such an opportunity during his transition, so he sees the value.

“Are they going to get into local government here?” Probably not, but just to experience this fraternity and go back to their hometown somewhere, it’s very marketable, ”he said.

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