Friday night, the Catawba County League of Women Voters hosted a mayoral forum at Highland Recreation Center. All six candidates were invited, but Dr. Jody Inglefield was unable to attend because of a prior commitment that he could not get out of. This forum only came together a few days ago and I had to work, so I could not attend, so Joe Brannock took over the duty of video recording the meeting.
Candice Harold, Terry Revels, Jeff Brittain, Ernie Masche, and Rudy Wright answered three questions posed by the League of Women Voters. Much of the forum focused on the current state of the Hickory Economy.
In watching this forum, one could see four candidates who see issues in the community that need to be addressed and an incumbent Mayor who wants to maintain the status quo. Mayor Wright has several catch phrases as he pushes Inspiring Spaces as the marquee to his campaign. He says that we have turned the corner and that is the reason why these people are running; because the economy is better. No one wanted to run four years ago, because we were in an Economic Depression. He was the only person willing to run four years ago, although he was telling us all on Hal Row's show four years ago that it was somehow an endorsement by the citizens of Hickory. So which is it?
The voters will have to make the call as to whether they agree with the five candidates who would like to see the city run differently or the three term Incumbent who says that he isn't going to change a thing about the way he operates.
Before you go to the video, I would like to point out a misnomer that has been pushed forward by the Mayor about the Forum from last Tuesday night. He has been going around saying that he was called a "Stinky Fish." The Mayor should retract what he said, but I doubt he will, which is fine. A political race isn't for the faint of heart. This link will take you to the 39:13 mark. Dr. Inglefield was talking about Senior City Staff and said that, "fish rots from the top. We've got a rotten fish and it smells at City Hall." There are legitimate reasons for him to have that opinion. Maybe if the Mayor had been at the event on Tuesday night, he'd have understood what Dr. Inglefield was talking about, because the rest of us did.
The Mayor says during this debate that he doesn't think he ever said Inspiring Spaces is going to cost $80 million. You can also go to the link at the bottom where the Mayor point blank says that Inspiring Spaces is going to cost $80 million ($20 million State, $20 million Federal, $20 million Hickory, and $20 million hopefully from private interests - $2 million each over 10 years). Special thanks to the Conover Crusader. Link to the $80 million Comment.
One last comment - Can we make sure that we get a Designated Driver for the inebriated. I want people to be safe entering and leaving these events.
$80 million for Beautification
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