We have a really long history of partnerships, and they are increasingly important. They have always been bread and butter, if you will. ... This is in many ways all about partnerships and how we fit together.
We've got good companies with good leadership, and that's a good selling point, too. They are people who don't just maintain the status quo but want to do something themselves, to create, innovate. Having those kinds of companies here makes a difference, too.
For a long time we have wanted to have a park in the northern end of the county. Some of the people most in need in our community are north of the river. This helps us before we ever talk about tying into another county.
Nobody could want this job more than I do, I don't think. I also don't think anybody could have more of a commitment to this county than I do.
One thing that we find especially attractive is that American children will be able to participate in the cultural programs if they want to learn a little Japanese. It brings an additional dimension to our community. It makes us a richer and better place to live.
Obviously, there are not enough Japanese children in each county in eastern North Carolina for all of us to have individual schools. Using a regional approach enables us to provide that degree of education so that when they're back in their country, they're even with all their classmates.
They filed for bankruptcy some months ago, so this is something that is not completely unexpected, though we had hoped they would be able to work through their business issues and keep going.