General rallies new recruits!

From left, retired general Kurt Ryan, Aurora Mayor Clif Williams, and David Loop, president of Beaufort County Community College.

The turnout Thursday, Oct. 21, was exceptional as retired general Kurt Ryan (a new resident) gave 125 would-be members of the Aurora Leadership Council their marching orders. The goal? Develop an ambitious ‘20-point Key Task’ strategic plan by the summer of 2022. “We hope to turn Aurora into a sparkling gem, and not an undiscovered one,” predicted Ryan. 

The general had some surprise announcements up his now-civilian sleeves. State legislator Keith Kidwell reported his behind-the-scenes budget efforts have earmarked up to $35 million for economic development in Beaufort County, with a big chunk heading to Aurora.

David Loop, president of Beaufort County Community College, said part of those state funds will go toward acquiring property and building a satellite campus of BCCC, within the town’s industrial park. “Our intent,” said Loop, “is to break the cycle of poverty that has existed in eastern North Carolina for much too long.”

Aurora’s mayor, Clif Williams, expressed delight that prominent players like Ryan, Kidwell, and Loop are now touting the potential of this once great community. To sign up, visit

The County Compass will announce all future meetings and workshops planned by the Aurora Leadership Council.