. to vote? asked moderator Dr. Steve
.didate for US Congress 10th District, ad- §
“cast several times prior the Nov. 6 elec-
October 24, 2012
The Kings Mountain Herald | www.kmherald.net
Candidates opposed to hikes in property taxes
All four candidates for three seats up
for grabs on the county board of commis-
sioners Nov. 6 said‘last Wednesday at a
candidate forum in Shelby that they would
not support raising property taxes.
Incumbents Mary Accor (D), Ronnie
Hawkins (R) and Johnny Hutchins (R)
were joined by challenger Susan Allen (R) in saying that if
elected they have no plans to raise taxes."
Two candidates for NC House’ District [F
10 - the incumbent Kelly Hastings (R) and ||
Jamar McKoy (D), along with two candi- |
dates for NC Senate District 46, the in-
cumbent Warren Daniel (R) and John |
McDevitt (D), and Patsy Keever (D) can- i
dressed issues during a candidate forum
last Wednesday at Cleveland Community
Lewis Guighnard, the Libertarian can-
didate for House District 10, was absent
as were incumbent 10th District Con-
gressman Patrick McHenry (R) and
Richard Evey, the candidate from the Lib-
ertarian party for NC House District 10.
The forum was broadcast live on the
college cable station 19 and will be broad-
What is your position on providing
photo I.D. when registering or arriving
McKOY - I am against it. It denies peo-
ple the right to vote. There is no evidence ?
of voter fraud going on in our nation. Patsy Keever
HASTINGS: I support it, If someone
doesn’t have an I.D. they can have a pro-
visional vote. There are ongoing fraud
cases in Catawba and Wake counties.
McDEVITT - I do not support voter
ID. There are no documented cases of
voter fraud. This ID Bill will cost $25 mil-
lion to implement and is 100% voter sup-
DANIEL - I supported it in the legisla- |
ture and it passed but the governor vetoed
it. We also included $3 million for free
IDs. Voter ID assures the integrity of our
election system,we have to show IDs [f°
wherever we go.
KEEVER - I don’t believe there is a
great deal of abuse but perhaps requiring
Voter ID would be a safety net to look out for fraud.
What is your position on fracking to release gas and oil?
MCcDEVITT - I think the General Assembly needs to look
at N. C. being energy independent. Some studies I have read
suggest 2.4 million North Carolinians could have their water
affected by this by 150 different kinds of chemicals energy
used in fracking:. We need to proceed very cautiously.
DANIEL - I supported the energy jobs act and support it
now. We created regulatory framework for tracking which
could create thousands of jobs but in the midst of the De-
pression our opponents say no. We have the third largest state
budget in our history and third largest education budget. We
supported framework for energy independence and it could :
help provide jobs.
McKOY- Fracking is not a worthwhile venture and won’t
create enough jobs. ¢
HASTINGS - I serve as co-chair of the energy committee
and I support it but I'm not satisfied with the idea of sending
hard raised dollars to othe countries. We have not passed the
What is your position on obtaining state funding on
tourism and development in Cleveland County?
McDEVITT - 1 support tourism, but it’s a double edged
sword. While our state budget is struggling now is not the
time to make those things happen.
DANIEL - I am in favor of supporting programs that fund
tourism because it is a multi-million dollar industry.
What do you think about social security reform?
~ KEEVER - It’s a promise we made to our senior citizens
~ and we have paid for if for our entire lives. So many of our
seniors are depending on it in their senior years, it’s imper-
tant that we protect this program.
How do you reconcile the growing federal deficit in NC?
KEEVER - We need to look at how do we create jobs and
* concentrate on small businesses. We have infrastructure
HASTINGS - We inherited this problem. We need to
eliminate fraud in unemployment benefits.
McDEVITT - This bothers me. We are building hospitals
and schools but both parties need to get together in a bipar-
" tisan effort.
DANIEL - Probably by a bond debt and pay back on time.
° When GOP took office there was an existing debt.
McKOY - We hear excuses and blame past administra-
* tions. We need to get more people back to work.
See DEBATE, 5A
Susan Allen Ronnie Hawkins
“What is your vision for the future,” asked moderator Dr.
Steve Thornburg at the sparsely attended forum at Cleveland
Community College broadcast live on Channel 19 and being
aired at various times prior to election day.
“I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I do know who
holds tomorrow,” said Accor, adding, “Our future is great,
we’re moving forward.” Accor said that Cleveland County
is a conversation piece throughout the state because “our col-
laborative effort in networking has been the driver of our suc-
cess in landing jobs for our people.”
“Right now Cleveland County is the best and the place
where I want to live and see more growth and more jobs,”
Allen said she would like to grow travel and tourism and
she envisions a small town feel as everyone works together
“My vision is the same when I was, first elected,” said
Hutchins, elaborating that the county should be the place for
kids to always call home and return to work. “Our partnering
has been successful,” he said.
“What can you as a commissioner do to enhance Cleve-
land County’s business friendly environment and improve
current economic development efforts? was another question
posed to commissioners.
Allen said some of the things that have put the county on
the map are the American Legion World Series, Don Gibson
Theatre, Earl Scruggs Center, LeGrand Center, and new in-
dustry bringing people to the county.
* “We need to continue to work for small businesses and
keep jobs at home to sustain our economy,” said Hawkins.
. Hutchins pointed to the number of new businesses and ex-
pansions and said that the county provides a mechanism for
economic development with incentive packages.
Accor pledged continued support, of economic develop-
ment efforts, pointed to the county in world class competition
in the workforce and keeping the tax rate low and offering in-
centives for small and large businesses.
What should be the county’s role in supporting the on-
going operation of the Don Gibson Theater and Earl
HAWKINS - Partnerships are important. Partnership is
what its all about.
HUTCHINS - We have partnered with these two organi-
zations along with Gateway Trails and will continue to eval-
uate what’s necessary in travel tourism needs. Last week we
heard that HamFest was coming back to Shelby.
ACCOR - Since the beginning we have partnered with
groups who have.had energizing projects to raise funds and
we know the economic impact will be good for the county.
ALLEN - We should continue to put all our resources to-
gether to help these and others that have a vision for our
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Light refreshments will be served.
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Thursday, October 25
5:30 - 7: |
Life Enrichment Center
110 Life Enrichment Blvd., Shelby
For more information, call Cleveland Regional Medical
Other than the need for jobs what are the greatest issues
facing Cleveland County?
ALLEN - Education which is the foundation for our fu-
ture; new industry and invest in local businesses and commit
HUTCHINS - Infrastructure to bring industry and look
for more grants to help them; encourage kids to stay in
school, decrease the dropout rate; and another great need is
assistance for the aging population, where some 60% of sen-
ior citizens require help from social services, the health de-
partment, are in nursing homes for the elderly.
HAWKINS - Continue to work with every municipality in
the county as we build working relationships. Job training,
the economy are great needs, and an asset is Early College
ACCOR - Unfunded mandates from the state are a big
concern and we need to make sure our county employees re-
ceive support; economic development, and benefits, grants,
bids, etc. that are operational needs.
What has been the biggest disappointment and biggest
successes from the current board of commissioners? 3
HUTCHINS - Recruitment of EDC-tax base jobs and our
pride i in partnering and looking at all departments and see-
ing how they cut their budgets to save money. Big disap- '
pointment was the unfunded mandates last year. We need to
take care of our own people with raises.
ALLEN - County employees tell me they need raises. I
commend the board on the many positive things that have
been accomplished, the jobs, and expansion of business.
ACCOR - The county has so many things to sslobiats but
we won’t be satisfied until all our people are back at work.
1/2 of all EDC projects in job growth is right here in this
county and we salute both private and public groups for this
milestone. The biggest disappointment continues to be the
HAWKINS - I am proud of our teamwork and the pro-
gressive and aggressive leadership in which successes have
been attained. My disappointment is in the layoffs that have
occurred in our county resulting in people out of work.
Do you support the sharing and/or consolidation of county
and municipal services? If so, which ones?
HAWKINS - We're pretty much doing this now. We have
. a good working relationship with all municipalities.
ACCOR - Any consolidation of services must be at the
will of the elected bodies, the governments of all our munic-
ipalities. Towns work together.
ALLEN - If areas of service are overlapping they may
need some support from each other, such as libraries.
HUTCHINS - It is the responsibility of Health and
Human Services Departments in county government, for ex-
ample, to provide assistance to all our citizens and we try to
partner with our municipalities.