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City, county working on working together

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Like a marriage, for better or worse, the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are joined for life.

Today, leaders from both sides met to discuss their ideas and opinions.

"There's going to be some things that we agree upon, and there are going to be some things that we don't agree upon," Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said, "but I think the most important thing is that we try to find ways to work together to better deliver services to our citizens within the city and within the county."

City Council members, County Commissioners and everyone in between meet at the New Hanover County Government Center for breakfast and to talk shop. Saffo said he thinks the conversation went well. He said the city and the county do see eye to eye on some things, but not others.

One thing they agree on: The need for more law enforcement downtown.

"I think we're going to come away with something in regards to additional resources that we can apply to our downtown to keep it safe, at the same time, for everybody to be able to enjoy it when they go down there," Saffo said.

As always, the thing standing in the way is money.

County Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield said the county is working on its budget, but there will have to be cuts.

"We've done some great things to kind of keep our budget in line, but at the same time, recognizing that... we don't have an infinite source of money," he said. "And with no one having the will and nobody wants their taxes raised anyway, so if we're not going to raise taxes, which I think is a good thing, find ways that you can cut government even more so that you can maintain what you have."

Barfield said this means both the county and the city have to compromise. He said communicating different needs is the key to success.

"Once you start explaining things and people can understand where you're coming from, then you can work together on those common issues and make your community better," Barfield said. "Communication to me in relationships are just a foundation for effective government."

At the end of the meeting, Barfield said they couldn't agree on everything, but what they did agree on is to meet on a more regular basis to have theses types of conversations.

The county and the city say they now know what to focus and work on for their next meeting. They are excited about projects they have successfully completed together like Legion Stadium and the red light cameras.

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Barfield is embarrassing and arrogant-

It is a shame he seems to speak for county-even when he has no right to do so. Barfield threatened school board members.
Barfield threatened the mayor of another town on the Transport Board. Barfield was for more proerty taxes-till others stood up against his deceit. He tells us no more time off for county employees-did he clear that statement with his other Commmsssioners. Barfield in his newsletter today says we should agree to a deal with a 3rd party to run our County medical center. did he clear that with others or is it just his arrigance and does he really mean he is for it. He had said there would be hearing and an oppportunity for public to comment-why not wait to hear what we the citizens want and think? Why was he ever selected- arrogance is no substitute for accomplishment-let's send him packing in the next election. Better yet let us all pray that Barfield at some point understands and shows a recogition of "humble" and that in a democracy he serves the people and not us serving him.

Barfield is a hypocrit and lier-Med Center

Hey Bardfield--why ask for public input on regional med center when you are already advocating a position--you took exception to others speaking for Board before a vote--where do you get right to do so before a public hearing and input--you are a phony baloney. You talk out of both sides of your mouth--for taxes then against them, for titan then against it. Thank heavens we have Berger and others to stand up to you-hopefully, he will have the courage to call you out for the lier you are. Lots of talk---before you throw stones at others you might look at your reflection in a mirror-when it comes to being truthful-you have a long way to go. The arrogance of your conduct, the hypocrisy of some of your recent public comments are there for all of us to see. Cant wait to vote you out in 2012-you are a terrible public servent.

OMG

This smells so like the "C" word (Consolidation).

"At the end of the meeting, Barfield said they couldn't agree on everything, but what they did agree on is to meet on a more regular basis to have theses types of conversations."

Surprise! The City and County can't agree on ANYTHING together...except meeting more often to eat breakfast (who paid for that?)

What a JOKE!

Hey there OMG!
That was my first thought too, but don't worry about consolidation. The "powers that be" want to remain territorial and dictate over their own domains. They just want to eat breakfast and socialize some more.

I cracked up when I heard, "We couldn't agree on anything and saw them all eating breakfast. Losers!

A novel idea, maybe they paid for their own, for a change. Or not. Who knows?

City/County joining hands..

Yeah, just hold your breath until that bunch join hands and sing "Kumbiyah."

Sorry if I messed up the spelling.

The reason it will never happen is that a bunch of the "High Dollar" polls. would have to go, in order to save any money. Neither city council people or county council people are likely to line up asking to be the first.