Well, here we are; nearly a year after we had to stand up and take notice of a new overseas viral threat, we are still fighting a battle that has caused nothing but mayhem in our personal and professional lives. COVID has made many of us sick and has taken too many of the lives of friends, family, and neighbors. It has crushed commerce and has placed too many people in positions of insecurity and uncertainty. Nevertheless, as devastating as COVID has been to Monroe and our country as a whole, our resolve, determination, and faith will lead us through it all.

I have said it many times before: We are a resilient people. Our passion and our steadfastness will give us the strength to carry on. We have weathered wave after wave of COVID outbreaks, learning to roll with each one and emerge stronger and wiser.

As the vaccination rollout continues, and as people to do their part, we will see the waves begin to calm. We have been tossed about in what seems to be a mighty, raging ocean; but as we approach the peak of a yearlong storm, we have to work together now more than ever to make our downward journey towards recovery and peace.

Union County health officials, in accordance with North Carolina guidelines and directives, are administering vaccinations as quickly as they are received. The phasing of the vaccine administration is methodical and is designed to ensure the greatest measure of public health and safety. We all need to practice patience and know our county public health officials are doing their best to decipher and implement the daily scientific and medical information shared across the state, country, and world. These workers are doing an amazing job and I encourage folks to move forward and get their vaccination when ready.

Our City of Monroe employees have taken all steps possible to ensure all Monroe residents have safe drinking water, uninterrupted electric and gas service, and superb emergency response service, all while implementing creative ways to engage our youth. The City Manager and city leadership, under the guidance of your elected city council members, rely heavily on the expertise of state and federal professionals and Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Orders to make daily decisions designed to protect residents and staff.

Again, we all have to do our part. I continue to encourage each of you to be supportive of local companies and businesses. Relying on our support, these local businesses serve as the backbone of our local economy and are eager to serve you. Also, remember to be a resource for those in need. While you and your family may be comfortable, please remember there are so many of our neighbors who are struggling not only financially but also emotionally. Having a servant heart will help strengthen our community: You might be that lifeline that someone needs right now.

I will continue to pray for health and healing in our city, county, and country. I will also continue pray for those who are sick and struggling, and I will pray that our elected leaders at all levels will continue to make sound decisions based on a greater good for all.



Bobby G. Kilgore