Letter to the Editor: Mayoral candidate has experience, vision to lead city

Posted at 10:53 AM on Jul 30, 2017

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To the Editor:

In reference to the recent profile of Statesville mayoral candidate Michael Johnson, this article illuminates the depth and breadth of experience Johnson brings to the table as a candidate. His vision of what the future holds for our community and the leadership he has consistently demonstrated in championing so many strategically important projects in Statesville and the Region are unparalleled.

Statesville is at a crossroads, not only in terms of our proximity to Interstate 40 and Interstate 77, but in terms of the path we choose going forward. These accomplishments, particularly those associated with infrastructure, are not easily recognized or appreciated by our citizens as the most appropriate use of resources, but they provide the foundation needed to begin to solve the more visible challenges we face. Well-planned strategic infrastructure and economic development initiatives that capitalize on our proximity to Charlotte and our position in the region, combined with the renewed vibrancy of our community, are the critical elements required to bring job growth, social and economic opportunity and sustainable prosperity.

Mayor Costi Kutteh, along with the other City Council members, should also be commended for the leadership and resolve they have shown in the face of the sometimes unrelenting negativity offered up by a minority of our citizens. Today, Statesville is well positioned to capitalize on the investments made. Momentum is building towards a bright future and we are beginning to be recognized as a community on the move with much to offer in terms of individual opportunity, economic opportunity and quality of life. The recent incident between some councilmembers notwithstanding, Michael Johnson has been at the forefront in fostering a collaborative environment across political, social and economic lines. That is a breath of fresh air when contrasted with the divisiveness we witness every day in the news and social media.

The question that remains for me is how to leverage one of the best of our community's leaders to build on this positive momentum. Losing Michael Johnson as a progressive vote on the Council will be missed as would Mayor Kutteh's valuable experience, leadership and steady hand. There are other candidates that deserve consideration as well, but the experience necessary to navigate these complex waters is considerable. It's a tough choice for sure, but I have confidence that Michael Johnson's combination of experience as a political, social and business consensus builder is exactly what we need and when we need it. In any event, as mayor, or if he continues on as a City Council member, Michael Johnson is a net win for the City of Statesville and it's citizens!

Todd Lange
Statesville

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