Business leaders have high expectations for their e-mail service and their technology gizmos -- but not so much, unfortunately, for the road system they need to get their goods to their customers, says corporate VP Jerry Cook of Hanesbrands Inc.
"We do not hold our highway infrastructure performance to the same standards as our information technology infrastructure," Cook said today. He appeared in Raleigh on a panel of corporate types who talked about the high cost of bad roads, at a session sponsored by the N.C. Bankers Association and the North Carolina Chamber.
NCDOT should not take its customers for granted, he said.
"If your phone doesn't work, you change phone companies. If the interstate system [in North Carolina] doesn't work, you're going to change interstate systems. And you're going to move somewhere else, where you can have predictability."
Cook and other speakers said NCDOT must become more transparent and reliable in its dealings with business and political leaders, and more trustworthy to voters who will be asked to pay more taxes.
Meanwhile, Governor-elect Bev Perdue was introducing her pick for DOT secretary, Gene Conti.
"I want to ensure the people of North Carolina that we will be open and honest," Conti said. "I am simply not comfortable doing business any other way."