Letters to The News

First Posted: 10/2/2009

Dear Editor:

I feel compelled to comment concerning Tuesday nights candidates forum. I attended the meeting for a variety of reasons, including helping to establish who I would vote for and getting a glimpse of who I might be serving with in the future. I came away concerned over the general tenor of the evening.
First let me address the question set which was put to each of the candidates. Such questions as would you describe yourself as status quo or for change? and name a mistake of the past board and how you would have acted differently do little to address what should be at the forefront of everyones mind when determining how they will vote… that being what leadership qualities does each candidate possess that will allow them to gather information, process it in an intelligent manner and then act upon that information in a way that benefits the majority of our citizens for the long term.
Instead questions like those I mention appeal to our more morbid nature. They look back on a road that has been filled with plant closings from a dying American textile industry for which we built a state of the art water treatment facility and are just now beginning to see the sunset of our debt service on same; unusal budgetary demands in terms reimbursements held and released and then held again by Raleigh, and finally and most recently the impact that a massive global recession has had on everyones pocket book regardless of job or profession.
These questions led to a lot of negativity on stage this week. Blaming others, casting stones and even scapegoating all designed to win a vote here or influence an opinion there. Certainly not every response reflected this but enough did to set the overall tone of the evening… for me at least.
It is certainly not my purpose here to endorse any one candidate. Such is not acceptable practice from a sitting commissioner. I felt, however, that one candidate in particular was professional enough to want avoid looking back and focus on the future. At this point that individual has shown the leadership skills necessary to get my vote on Tuesday.
I hope before you vote on Tuesday that you also will take time determine which candidate you think has the best skill set to help lead the city into the FUTURE.
If you didnt attend the forum you can listen to its re-broadcast on Monday afternoon on local radio.
It says in Ecclesiastes: concerning the estates of men God tests them. Most everyone I know is having their estate tested in one way or another. Surely it is not necessary to create needless drama all for the sake of a few votes or a personal agenda. I must ask if you cannot be true to yourself in front of your friends, neighbors and future constituents are you qualified to hold local elected office?
The negativity I witnessed and also am witnessing at times at our regularly sceduled board meetings strikes at the very fabric of our most valuable resource, especially in tough times… our sense of community.

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