Mayor Allen Joines released the following statement today:
“I am very honored to have received the numerous messages, phone calls and comments supporting my consideration of seeking the Governor’s Office. However, it is clear to me that serving as mayor of the City of Winston-Salem is a privilege and honor in itself. Our community has made good progress in rebuilding its economy, but there is more work to be done. I want to be a part of these efforts; therefore, I will not run for governor.
“Working with the City Council and business and community leaders, we have been able to get the city on the right track to a strong economic future. Winston-Salem has consistently maintained the lowest unemployment rate in the Triad and has remained a point below the state average. Our city currently leads the state in the creation of new jobs among other metropolitan areas. Office space filled at a faster rate in Winston-Salem in the past four years than in any of the other largest cities in North Carolina and as a result we have regained 55 percent of the jobs lost during the recession. This is a very favorable rate when compared with Greensboro at 30 percent; Charlotte at 38 percent; and Asheville at 29 percent. Durham has regained about 59 percent and Raleigh has recovered 79 percent.
“In addition, Winston-Salem has received a number of recognitions that demonstrate the city’s strength. For instance, it was named as one of the 50 best cities in the country; one of the top 25 places to retire; one of ten cities nationally designated as a “Citizen-Engaged Community”; and, our downtown was rated as number two in the country. These accolades recognize the quality of life, the business-friendly atmosphere and the high level of city service that we enjoy here. Even with this level of service, Winston-Salem has the lowest combined taxes and fees of any of the largest cities in the state.
“While we have made good progress, there is more to be done to keep the momentum going and further develop our ‘knowledge based’ economy so that our citizens will have the jobs they need in the future. I want to continue to work with the City Council and other organizations to prepare Winston-Salem for the continued growth and development that will be needed to keep us healthy in a global economic environment.
“There are a number of exciting and potentially transformational projects and programs that we are working on and I want to be a part of their implementation. Successful cities will be those that embrace innovation and are able to change quickly to new and emerging trends, and in my judgment our community is poised to do so.
“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of Winston-Salem and I look forward to continued great things for our community.”