Letter to the Editor: Costi Kutteh's actions prove he is best candidate for mayor

Posted at 5:12 AM on Sep 20, 2017

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To the Editor:

I will have to admit to a huge bias when it comes to Statesville's municipal elections.

I take seriously the right to vote and have done so all my adult life. When I was a pastor, I tried to speak truth to power, but I could not endorse any candidate from the pulpit. That has all changed now that I have stepped out of the pulpit. Although I disagree with the votes and policies of many candidates/elected officials, I respect and appreciate their willingness to seek office and serve.

However, my bias causes me to strongly support certain candidates.

Candidates during this election cycle have expressed their desire to make life better for ALL of Statesville. That is a worthy goal. But I have a strong interest in the quality of life of the Southside. For twenty years, I went to the Southside almost every day of my life to work at the Fifth Street shelter. I still make frequent trips south of Garner Bagnal Boulevard because I know and love folk who work and reside there.

It is seldom that I see ANY elected official up and down those streets or participating in the non-profit work that seeks to assist the community. They may come during election season for a token appearance or a photo-op, but their absence on a continuous basis speaks volumes.

That is not true for Mayor Costi Kutteh. For over 28 years, he has been a regular presence on those streets. If you calculate, that has been much longer than he has served as our mayor. He and Councilman Arnold Watt have been the only ones showing up with a sense of frequency.

Costi Kutteh shows up and supports in a variety of ways. His entire family has faithfully moved among those streets to help and make a difference. (One year the whole Kutteh family received the Fifth Street Volunteer of the Year award for their extended and continuous service). Mayor Kutteh does the clean-up work every year following our Christmas dinner, faithfully attended the noon prayer luncheon we had several years ago, has served in an advisory capacity for so many needs, assisted with Meals on Wheels on holidays when they are delivered through the efforts of Grace Baptist and the shelter, and has been one of the best cheerleaders for the shelter in our whole community.

But Costi’s heart is much bigger than just the Southside. He loves this city. A regular, daily feature is seeing him walking and inter-acting with citizens.

For me, it is an easy call. My deeply engrained bias says Costi Kutteh for Mayor!

Gary West
Statesville

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