Candidates for Ward 6 seat on Statesville Council focus on economic growth

Posted at 1:13 PM on Oct 7, 2019


Editor's Note: Five candidates are running for the Ward 6 seat on the Statesville City Council in the October 8 election. We asked each candidate to explain why he or she is highly qualified for this position and deserves the trust of voters -- and what their priorities would be if elected. Four of the candidates responded. Here are their answers:

Frederick Foster

Foster_IMG_1509494970330.jpgI am running for the Ward 6 seat on the Statesville City Council. I am the father of two lovely daughters of who I am extremely proud. I am employed as a local driver for Salem Carriers.

My qualifications include having been employed as a sworn, full-time law enforcement officer with the Cleveland Police Department. I am a graduate of Statesville High School and Mitchell Community College, and I attended Shaw University. I was appointed by the Statesville City Council as a member of the Statesville Storm Water Commission in 2015, where I served for three years. I have also attended every Statesville City Council meeting as an unpaid, interested observer for the last several years with few exceptions.

Ward 6 residents need a strong advocate to be their voice on our city council. I personally have seen and felt the effects of unemployment and underemployment in my community. I understand the difficulties of living in an area of the city that oftentimes feels overlooked during the city’s planning stages yet are called upon to do our part when the tax bill arrives.

I have seen businesses leave Statesville and have witnessed the impact their departures have had on our community. If elected, I will be capable of working with my fellow council members to explore avenues of bringing better-paying jobs back. I have a deep love and respect for the people in our communities and wish to see everyone have the opportunity to prosper.

The hard truth is that our community will not prosper with better-paying jobs if our single-parent families lack adequate daycare for their children. Better-paying jobs will be a missed opportunity without public transportation for our community members who lack the means to get to work. These are my concerns for Ward 6, and these are but a few the issues I want to address as your representative.

I believe that Statesville needs a workable structured plan as a blueprint for our future growth. It has become a familiar practice to push things to the back burner when the conversation becomes uncomfortable. We, as a city, cannot move forward into prosperity until we address the issues that have been a source of contention and are holding us back.

Our citizens are an asset to Statesville, and as such, should have a voice in how the city operates. I pledge to hold monthly meetings in my ward with the intent of addressing your concerns, explaining our progress, and collecting ideas to take back to the council. I will be your representative, your voice, and will always put your best interest first.

I have always heard that it’s wrong to criticize others unless you can do better yourself, and I think I can. I want to help improve the quality of life for the citizens in Ward 6 and help move the city of Statesville forward.

David Jackson

Jackson_6454-1.jpgI'm running for City Council Ward 6. I was born in Newark, N.J. I graduated from Rutgers University. I'm a small business owner here in the lovely City of Statesville.

The City of Statesville has a golden opportunity. The growth and prosperity out of Charlotte is at our front door. Bulldozers are at work in Troutman and are ready to began in Statesville. So the critical question is, do you want someone on City Council who will include the current citizens of Statesville in that growth? Someone who will require local contractor bids on all new construction. Someone to present a vision and cooperation that produces a marriage between the needs of the manufacturer and a wel- trained stream of Statesville citizens. Someone who will reserve incentives for companies that are paying higher wages. Someone who hear the voices of the Fire Department when they ask for higher wages.

Please understand that you are asking your employee to comply with your wants, needs and demands. Stop asking and start demanding these things. Your vote is your largest bullhorn. Consider this: Statesville's unemployment rate is about 4.8. I want everyone who reads this publication to go to work today and regardless of what your boss asks, you reply " not now." I promise you the unemployment rate will increase overnight. I'm presenting this wrapped in a little humor, but I am very serious when I say: Stop asking for jobs, training, lower taxes, better wages and elect someone who can get it done. Not later but " right now."

You are the Boss. City Council is the employee. Don't ever forget that. If elected to City Council Ward 6, I promise that I will never forget that.

David Mayes Jr.

David Mayes.JPGI’m a native of Statesville, I live off East Side Drive in Statesville and am a father of two very educated children. Therefore, I’m running for City Council in Ward 6 for a new beginning and economic growth. I have been a resident of Statesville all my life and volunteer in the public service field in fire and rescue for 13 years, have attended Mitchell community, also have work in the logistic, warehousing, and restaurant business for many years. Owned a business with my father for two years. If elected, I will ensure the residents of Ward 6 that there will be a changed in Ward 6. There are many areas in the city that needs to change for the better of City of Statesville, which the former city council and some current city council members has not taken to heart of the needs of the city citizens. They are not hearing the concerns of the city residents with adding taxes of many different names. Also, along with not listening to needs of company’s like Lowe’s, which just left the airport, and others. The American flag issue at hand -- they will not vote for the flag for the people and then the parking deck issue will take away from the Vance Hotel, also many of members of city council do not listen to the citizens in their wards. They vote on developer agreements that have lots of loop holes. The employees of the city, along with the fire and police departments, which are so far behind in pay in comparison to the larger cities in N.C., especially fire, who is not paid for work along with police.

Therefore, there are many issue that needs to be addressed. One is the taxes in the city with the sanitation and stormwater taxes with former and current city council members keep adding taxes to the citizens of Statesville. If elected, I will ask that these taxes be voted to be done away which and returned, which will reduce the citizens taxes to help save them money and make sure not to add any more taxes on my watch. Also, to help to make sure council has a plan in place to address and enforce housing and commercial building policy that will address the inside and outside, the ownership of property, and to make sure it’s fair across the board to help them look good again and not to pressure homeowners to have to go in debt to the city and lose there house to foreclosure. With that being said, we need to enforce commercial building owners to use their buildings in positive way to help economic growth. If elected, I will be looking to help put in a five-year capital plan for the city which will address spending in the city and also cut out unneeded spending that is going on now by current council members; also will address the Vance Hotel issue which has gone on too long.

Therefore, in Ward 6 I will help bring jobs, which in return will bring economic growth and will help bring new business like grocery stores, which is needed, and other retail and industries to Ward 6. Therefore, Ward 6 will become a positive community again with forums and community meetings. Therefore, important issues I will take serious as being an elected official of Ward 6 because you are part of the City of Statesville. In closing, I will work for the people of Ward 6 to make sure the community is heard and feel like you are part of something. Together we can make a difference and we come together as one.

Please vote for David Mayes Jr. and I will diligently represent the voice of the citizens in Ward 6. Elected David Mayes Jr to be united again and for Ward 6 voices to be heard again. If elected, I will also look at ways that city council can get involved in making the schools great again and to make kids have a future in the City of Statesville. Thanks, and again, I will listen to Ward 6 citizens along with other wards to make Statesville great again.

James Neal

James Neal_102634.jpgStatesville needs leaders drawn from the ranks of everyday citizens. Ward 6—more than any other ward—represents the working class. It’s where many residents work, it contains the sites where our future jobs will be, and most importantly, it houses our working-class families, by whose sweat Statesville will be rebuilt.

Why, then, do we have so very little input into how our taxes are spent? Why do we fund the past council’s pet projects, the beautification of downtown, the legal battle against our flag? This, while our city’s basic services are left without the proper funding, or even a plan to in the future provide it.

It’s because we lack leaders drawn from the everyday man or woman who understand our need for lower taxes, better jobs and the transportation to get to them. We desire to work, if only the barriers are removed.

Our biggest problem is that our past council members often came from the good-old-boy buddy system. They were elected from well-known families who, despite leading Statesville to its present state of high taxes and low wages, somehow remain in power.

Years of broken promises denied us the opportunity to grow at the pace of our neighbors, but finally, growth is returning. We only need leaders who will embrace and guide it.

We need leaders who respect their neighbors’ property and the city’s hardworking employees who—in the case of the sanitation department—were rewarded with the threat of losing their jobs after years of loyal service, despite being underpaid and equipped with dangerous equipment.

We need leaders who stay connected with their communities and who solve the small, day-to-day issues like illegal dumping and community safety risks like a lack of speed limits in neighborhoods where children play.

Our leaders should strive to lower the tax burden by being better stewards of their neighbors’ money. Instead of flowers, we should fund businesses, building a strong economy that will grow our tax base through higher-paying jobs that will provide something for our children to return home to.

We need leaders who can dream of a better tomorrow, but who have the common sense and patience to lead us down the long road to get there.

Most importantly, we deserve leaders who will spend every day earning our trust. I know this isn’t the first time someone has asked you to trust and that in the past, you’ve been lied to, but nothing will change if we don’t keep trying.

To cease to try is to doom our city to failure and stagnation.

Please, I beg you, research your candidates, find the one whose voice best echoes your own and be a part of the solution.

Though smaller, your local election has a more-direct impact on your daily life. As one of so few people, your voice will never count for more than it does now.

It’s critical that you vote.

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