Re-election plans mixed as filing nears

First Posted: 6/16/2009

With the candidates filing period nearing for the 2009 municipal elections in Surry County, only one of the three Mount Airy officials affected is publicly declaring his intention to seek another term.
I am going to run, North Ward councilman Jon Cawley said Tuesday afternoon of his plans to campaign for his first full term on the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
Meanwhile, Commissioner David Beal said he also has made a decision concerning whether he will attempt to retain the South Ward seat he has held for 10 years. But Beal said he will delay an announcement until after the city finalizes its budget for the next fiscal year that begins July 1.
The third Mount Airy office-holder up for re-election this year, Mayor Jack Loftis, said Tuesday afternoon that he had reached no final decision yet on whether to seek a third term.
Those and any other candidates for the three positions will be able to officially register their intentions on July 6. The filing period for all Surry municipal seats up for grabs in 2009 begins at 8:15 a.m. that day at the county Board of Elections in Dobson, and will continue through noon on July 17.
In addition to Cawley, Beal and Loftis in Mount Airy, the 2009 election will include the Dobson offices now held by Mayor Ricky Draughn and Commissioners Clarence Collins and Wayne Atkins. Atkins was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of another board member who vacated his seat, Stan Newman.
Two members of the Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners also are up for re-election this year, Carolyn Boyles and Andrew French.
The offices in all three municipalities are non-partisan.
Those wishing to run for any of the three positions in Mount Airy must pay a $10 filing fee, compared to $6 for the commissioners races in Pilot Mountain and $5 for the affected Dobson offices.
In Mount Airy, candidates seeking a commissioner post must reside in the affected ward.

One Year Not Enough
In commenting on his plans to seek a four-year term as a North Ward commissioner, Cawley indicated Tuesday that it was a matter of trying to complete unfinished business. He was appointed to the city board in September to fill out the term of Tom Bagnal, who resigned in July 2008, with some 16 months remaining.
I dont know that this is a job you ever get finished, Cawley said.
There are things were in the process of deciding that one year is not enough to effect change the way that I would hope to, he added. Im interested in trying to see the taxes continue to decrease, and find a way to cut our spending without devastating personnel at the city.
The proposed budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year includes a one-cent decrease in the municipal property tax rate.
Aside from the fiscal matters associated with helping to run the city, Cawley wants to continue pursuing other concerns of citizens and listening to what they have to say, which he said has been part of his learning process.
Im really trying to help people with the issues they have before city government, Cawley said of the time he has served so far. Its been fun its been challenging. Its certainly been enlightening and Ive learned an awful lot about how things work.
Im just now getting to the point where I understand how the wheels move.
Beal said Tuesday that he plans to make his re-election decision public around the last week in June. The budget season will be completed by then, with the commissioners scheduled to adopt the new city spending plan at a meeting Thursday night.
Thats way too important right now to be thinking about anything else, said Beal, who joined the city board in 1999 when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner Johnny Edwards. He later was elected to two full terms, the latest in 2005.
Loftis said he also plans to announce a decision shortly before the filing period begins. Ill decide before July 1, said the mayor, who will consult with others in the meantime. Ill be meeting some and talking with my family in the next week or so.
The incumbent did say Tuesday that he would like to see some of the projects city government has been involved with reach fruition, specifically turning around Mount Airys recent economic problems and replacing lost industrial jobs.
So well just have to wait and see, Loftis said of his impending decision.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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