Thursday, October 28, 2004
Vol. 116 No. 44
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Cleveland County Democrats
and Republicans are working
almost around the clock as election
Wayne King, head of President
George W. Bush's Cleveland
County campaign, predicts his
man will win.
“That goes without saying.
North Carolina is a conservative
state,” King said.
The GOP stand against gay mar-
riage and abortion make the party
popular here, according to King.
County Democrat Chairperson
Betsy Wells calls those issues a dis-
- traction from the economy, war
with Iraq and rising healthcare
Wells points to a $200 trillion
deficit and a war with a nation
which did not attack America. She
calls the GOP a threat to social
“They give to the rich and take
from the poor,” Wells said.
Wells spent late 2003 and early
2004 in New England campaigning
for John Edwards. The North
Carolina Senator is Democrat pres-
idential contender John Kerry's
PRETTY AS A PUMPKIN
are all part of the fun.
Closer to home, King calls
Republican State House hopeful
Jim Testa a “credible candidate.”
Testa, who owns Kings Mountain
Truck Plaza, is running against
incumbent Walter Dalton, a
Rutherfordton lawyer for 111th
GOP county Chairman Wes
Westmoreland calls it the “single
biggest race to watch.”
He predicts a close race for the
111th State House seat. Voters will
choose between incumbent
Republican Tim Moore, an attor-
ney, and Democrat challenger
Kathryn Hamrick who manages
the Shelby Met Life office.
Three Cleveland County com-
mission seats are up for grabs.
Incumbents Chairwoman Mary
Accor and Tom Bridges, both
Democrats, and Republican Ronnie
Hawkins will face off against
Republican challengers Johnny
Hutchins and Will Troutman and
Democrat Robin Hendrick.
“If anybody makes a bet on
county commission, they're crazy,”
He praised all six candidates as
caring individuals. Westmoreland
Madison Faith Allen enjoys herself in the pumpkin patch at Bethlehem Baptist Church M
the 14-month-old daughter of Jason and Krista Allen of Kings Mountain. Her grandparents are Bill and Norma
Meyers and Les and Peggy Allen. The pumpkin patch is a fund raiser for a youth mission trip. The church will host
a free community fall festival Saturday from 6 to 8:15 p.m. Hot dogs, games, a cake walk and costume contest
onday afternoon. She is
Plant to vote on union
believes Hawkins will be at the top
of the ticket. He called Hutchins
and Troutman “viable candidates”
with a “reasonable chance.”
. Incumbent Governor Mike
Easley is running against
Republican Patrick Ballentine.
Westmoreland is concerned that
Easley’s campaign dollars will
make the race tough for Ballentine.
Polls will be open Tuesday from
6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Voters who
need a ride should contact their
respective parties. The Democrat
party can be reached at 704-481-
8683 and the Republicans are at
With just over two months on the job, Kings Mountain
City Manager Greg McGinnis is taking a leave of absence.
City Council met Friday at 11 a.m., going into closed until
approximately 12:20 p.m. According to Mayor Rick
Murphrey, the council reached a consensus to grant
McGinnis the leave he requested. Murphrey did not give a
time frame for the leave.
In a memo to Murphrey and council, McGinnis recom-
mended City Clerk Marilyn Sellars as acting city manager.
McGinnis is not listed in the telephone directory. A mes-
sage left for him with a family member Friday has gone
Murphrey said Monday he thought McGinnis would be
paid sick leave using time he has built up at other munici-
palities. It was unclear at press time whether McGinnis
would be receiving health insurance during the leave of
absence. A call to city Risk Manager Ray Wilson was not
Council members have declined comment, citing state
law which makes personnel matters confidential.
Under the Family Medical Leave Act, the city must allow
employees up to 12 weeks leave for medical conditions, to
care for a sick parent, child or spouse or at the birth, adop-
tion or foster placement of a child. This applies to employ-
ees who have been with the city for at least 12 months.
The city’s policy also allows employees up to a year of
unpaid leave for education, special work that will benefit
the city, continuation of sick leave for self or family or other
reasons deemed justifiable by the city manager.
Human Resources Director Pat Blanton did not know of
any past Kings Mountain city managers taking a leave of
“I don’t recall any of them going on an extended leave,”
Council voted four to three to hire McGinnis Aug. 20. His
annual salary is $65,000, a monthly $400 car allowance and
all benefits and retirement offered full-time employees.
McGinnis is Kings Mountain's second permanent city
manager this year. Phil Ponder left in February after an
apparent dispute with some elected officials involving
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Within a few months workers at
Kings Mountain's newest plant, Axle
Alliance, will get a chance to do some-
thing few North Carolinas workers can
do - vote on a labor union.
The Detroit-based plant’s contract
with the United Auto Workers gives
employees at all plants the right to
vote on representation.
Nationally 12.9 percent of workers
are represented by labor unions. At 3.1
percent, North Carolina has the fewest
number of unionized workers, accord-
ing to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
and the AFL-CIO. The national number
has dropped from 20 percent in 1980.
Candidates get in last hits
at Sunday NAACP forum
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
state. He supports legislation to
Ever since the bureau began keeping
stats, the Carolinas have ranked lowest
in the nation for workers represented.
Dr. Roxanne Newton, a Mitchell
. Community College instructor who
studies labor unions in the south, lists
several reasons why she believes
unions haven't gotten a foothold in the
Traditionally the south was a rural
farming area while industry was con-
centrated in the northeast and some-
what on the west coast. When northern
companies moved their jobs south in
the early 20th Century, unions
appeared foreign to most southern
The unions were largely associated
with northern agitators in the mind of
many here. Collective bargaining did
not appeal to the independent Scotch-
Irish personality, according to Newton.
All these factors made it hard for
unions to find workers willing to join
despite $9 a week wages and forced
overtime, Newton said.
The nationwide General Strike of
1934 dealt a blow to unions. Some
500,000 workers, both unionized and
independent, walked off their jobs. The
unions were not able to support these
individuals and the strike failed. State
militias were called out in North
Carolina and across the country.
Striking workers were beaten and
sometimes killed. Newton says most
workers blamed the union instead of
See Union, 2A
micro-management. Gary Hicks served as interim city man-
ager between Ponder and McGinnis.
McGinnis worked as Boiling Springs town manager from
2001 to 2003. HéMeft that position when Emory University
offered him a full.scholarship to its seminary. McGinnis
declined that offer when he and his wife were not able to
sell the family’s Cleveland County home.
Before Boiling Springs, McGinnis managed the Town of
Vinalhaven, Maine from 2000 to 2001. He was assistant city
manager in Kannapolis from 1998 to 2000. He interned as a
budget analysts and in management for the City of
Charlotte from 1996 to 1998. McGinnis also served in the
U.S. Army for four years. i
He graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a Masters in
Public Administration in 1996. McGinnis is a 1979 Kings
Mountain High School graduate.
Andie Brymer can be reached at abrymer@kingsmoun-
tainherald.com or 704-739-7496.
SHELBY - Cleveland County
Commission and North Carolina
House and Senate candidates par-
ticipated in a county NAACP
forum Sunday afternoon at Mt.
Solutions for unemployment and
underemployment were the first
Tim Moore, incumbent
Republican House candidate, said
unemployment numbers are down
from 12 percent to 10 percent over
the past two years. Moore said he
sponsored bills to lower taxes and
give industries incentives from the
repair problems with DOT minority
business discrimination and to give
research and development tax cred-
its to two local companies.
His opponent Kathryn Hamrick
said she supported Closing the
Achievement Gap efforts, industry
recruitment and higher standards
for businesses receiving local incen-
tives. These would include requir-
ing the businesses hire locally.
State Senate Democrat incumbent
Walter Dalton sponsored industrial
incentive legislation. He supports
infrastructure help for industry
including water and sewer, early
childhood programs and the New
See Forum, 2A
JOSEPH BRYMER / HERALD
State House opponents Tim Moore, left, and Kathryn Hamrick answer questions at Sunday’s forum.
Manager granted |
leave of absence
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER