Students voice concerns and hopes with Mayor


Forest Fire Editorial Board

In light of the beginning of Mayor Vivian Jones’s fifth term, high school students express their new hopes and concerns for the town of Wake Forest.

Though some students wish for burger franchises Cookout or Five Guys to be constructed in the area, some express unique ideas towards what exactly they want from Jones.
Junior Ryan Havens, who spends much time playing both club and high school soccer, has hopes coming from his athletic mind set.

“We, as a community, should add sporting fields of all kinds to Joyner Park. Public fields, and a variety too, not just soccer and football, but more sand volleyball and croquet, as well as a place to have bonfires, a public bonfire with marshmallows and graham crackers and chocolate,” Havens said.

Holly Baker, freshman expresses her environmental concerns towards the mayor.

“If I had one concern for the mayor in this town, it would probably be how much growth we’re experiencing so fast,” Baker said. “We’re called Wake Forest, but we really aren’t a forest anymore. If we could try to regulate how often we’re building things, I think it would be a really good idea.”

Senior Isabel Padalecki also supports eco-friendly improvements.

“Wake Forest should get more sidewalks around the town so that people can walk more places and use their cars less. Also, as town expansion continues, Mayor Jones should try and set up more environmentally friendly businesses and building codes,” Padalecki said.

Alongside the health of the environment, junior Brad Beck brings notice to the health of the people living here.
“If I had to raise a concern, it would probably be to raise awareness for drug use in young teens because it impacts their health for the rest of their lives,” Beck said.

Shopping and entertainment are on the minds of some teens.  Freshman Kailey Fryor believes the town needs more developments geared toward the teen population.

“I think we should have more shopping areas. Maybe a mall in Wake Forest because so many people need to shop, and the closest malls aren’t very close,” Fryor said. “Also, businesses would do very well in this area.”

Freshman Megan Gilmore feels the town needs to focus on the students in Wake Forest and their schools.

“I would ask her to consider putting more money towards the schools. For example, there were well over 20 kids at Heritage Middle last year taking a math course online because they couldn’t afford a teacher,” Gilmore said. “If more money and concern is put into schools, then people could get a better education and go further in life.”

Junior Mackenzie Roberson feels for the pets in the area and wants Mayor Jones to focus on their needs.

“I would say how dogs need to be adopted more, so maybe get a better awareness towards that from the town as innocent puppies need a home, and no one is aware that so many dogs are in that situation,” Roberson said.

With the addition of new business and residential areas, many students feel Wake Forest is losing its small-town feel.

“I feel like Wake Forest is expanding too quickly. I understand that we’re getting more people moving in, but I feel like we’re getting extra stores that we don’t need and things like restaurants and shopping centers that aren’t necessary for the amount of people we have. It’s creating too much deforestation and leading to it being less of Wake Forest and more just Wake,” freshman Holly Baker said. “I feel like if I could speak to the mayor, I would like to be able to figure out a way that we could change the amount of things that we’re adding in so it stays as the small town that it used to be, while still having more people.”

Sophomore Shruthi Subramanian would like to ask the mayor why there are a number of repeat businesses throughout the area.

“I would ask her why we need three grocery stores on one street,” Subramanian said.
Another student urges Mayor Jones to take a more cautious approach when deciding which businesses should be able to develop in the town.

Freshman Kendall Inge said, “I think she should stop letting people build things that we don’t necessarily need. For example, they keep building stores like Lidl, and honestly, I just don’t see the point in that because we have so many stores already. I just don’t feel like we need any more.”