Attention communities in Harrisburg. Cabarrus County wants to hear from you.
The same goes for Mount Pleasant and Midland neighborhoods too.
Chantel Thompson, community relations coordinator for Cabarrus County, said she is trying to enlist more communities to join the county's Cabarrus Neighborhood Partners program. The program is designed to encourage public involvement in county government as well as provide a primary point of contact for any questions having to do with the county.
While that sounds like a pretty straightforward operation, Thompson said the county has been having a hard time reaching communities in Harrisburg and elsewhere.
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"They feel like they don't want government telling them what do to," she said. "But we want people in Harrisburg to see the benefits of staying in the know."
For instance, the county and the town have begun working to develop the Harrisburg Area Land Use Plan to guide how growth and school construction is managed around an area loosely bounded by the Mecklenburg County line, Rocky River Road and the Rocky River.
Thompson said the meetings that are being set up around this plan also serve as an opportunity to promote the neighborhood partner program. It's a way to keep the community better informed about crucial developments in the planning process, she said.
There currently are 50 communities that are registered with the county neighborhood program and most are in Concord.
People don't have to be in a community with a homeowners association to join the program. Any interested group of residents can join, Thompson said.
Components of the neighborhood program include:
A county staff person is assigned to groups as a liaison they can contact directly to deal with questions or concerns. That helps cut down on the time it takes an issue to get resolved, Thompson said.
An annual meeting produced with Concord's neighborhood program provides workshops on everything from grants to leadership tools and local resources.
A quarterly newsletter, which highlights issues important to residents.
An eight-week introduction to government programs and services course called County Government 101.
And a speaker's bureau, which provides people to address community meetings. Speakers have covered such topics as emergency medical services, property tax assessment and public transportation.