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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hickory Mayor Debate - Lenoir-Rhyne University - October 4, 2013

Friday night, Lenoir-Rhyne University hosted a mayoral candidate forum at P.E. Monroe Auditorium. All six candidates were present.  Jeff Brittain, Candice Harold, Dr. Jody Inglefield, Ernie Masche, Terry Revels, and Rudy Wright answered three questions posed by the Lenoir-Rhyne Professor Cade Hamilton and his debate team.

Videos (2 parts) are at the bottom of this article. Video quality isn't so great because of the stage lighting effect and the natural darkness of P.E. Monroe. The contrasts lead to a white-out effect. This is the best debate that I have ever watched live - very professionally facilitated. This is as level a playing field as you will ever see in a local election.The only suggestion I would make is to have the time manager on the center-front row with large time cue cards.

Moderator Information:
Cade Hamilton, Director of Speech and Debate, School of Journalism and Mass Communications Lenoir-Rhyne University

The Questions:
- What is your most significant achievement for the greater good of the City of Hickory and why does that make you most prepared to be the mayor?
- What would you do as mayor to help attract cultural events and diverse populations to Hickory?
- What are the two most significant issues facing the city of Hickory in the next two years and what would you do to address those issues?

Additional Topic Areas:
- Transparency and Accountability
- Jobs and the Local Economy
- Variances between Candidates

In witnessing this forum, once again we see five candidates who see many issues in the community that need to be addressed and an incumbent Mayor who comes across in a My Way or The Highway fashion. At least on this night he didn't talk about turning the corner or say the other candidates wanted his job after he had done all of the hard work.

In this round, we once again saw a defiant Mayor inferring that he was going to keep on doing it the same way he had been for the past twelve years and pontificating about a lack of understanding as to why the other candidates weren't addressing the issues he wanted to address. He seems to be confused about this not being the typical Hickory City Council Beauty Pageant setting.  Of course, I don't mind pointing this out since I will never be awarded the Mr. Congeniality trophy.

The voters will have to make the call as to whether they agree with the five candidates who would like to see the city alter course on some issues/objectives or the three term Incumbent who seems to be wondering why he is being challenged and especially in this manner. To my knowledge, we have never seen a political race such as this in Hickory. And it really isn't hard to understand why it has come to this. The Status Quo wants to blame the Hickory Hound and the CEG, but maybe it is time that they do one of my favorite exercises of the past six-plus years -- REFLECTION!!! It is a healthy exercise.

There was an excellent opening message by Dr. Inglefield about his wife Rebecca and her arrest last year and being shocked about what he has learned over the last few years. "What does it take to shock the people of Hickory." He related all of this to a lack of communication and transparency. There was another excellent message by Jeff Brittain about finding Shark Teeth on a beach. He has hundreds. Most people never find one. He has a plan. He related that to bringing jobs to our area. No plan, no jobs. Ernie Masche took a cue from Mayor Wright and walked out towards the audience and sat on the front of the stage and spoke about it being time for a change and about transparency and needing youth in the community. He says that we need to look out for the whole city and not just certain sections. Candice Harold spoke about going to the Taco Bell on Hwy 70 on the weekend and meeting the young people who cruise late at night and how they expressed that there is nothing to do around here. They wouldn't be out cruising if they had a place to hang out. Terry Revels comes across as a man who truly loves and reveres the United States of America.

The Mayor has changed the dialogue from "Inspiring Spaces" to "Innovate Catawba" and "Innovate Hickory". He said that Inspiring spaces is a part of all of that. Pigs and Billy Goats... lipstick still ain't gonna change the situation.

The Mayor is now saying what he said at the Democrat Dinner forum was a S.W.A.G. (Silly Wild @$$ Guess) remark. You can go to the link at the bottom of this paragraph where the Mayor point blank says that the number being discussed is $80 million ($20 million State, $20 million Federal, $20 million Hickory, and $20 million hopefully from private interests - $2 million each over 10 years). I have also heard that from other sources. He knows that people don't want to hear this.
Link to the $80 million Comment.

He and the city are also trying to ride the coattails of a man's devotion towards his wife in the creation of a conservancy on the lake and swerve the meaning of that devotion towards their own message and objective - Ain't Cool.  

One last comment - Hickory United PAC is definitely in Rudy's corner. They have to be, because none of the other five candidates support their extremist tactics that prey upon ignorance. They were the ones that asked a question about whether the candidates would support a gun manufacturer moving to Catawba County. As Dr. Inglefield answered the question the young Co-Chair of HUPAC immediately sprang up out of his seat, which was very noticeable, dialed his phone and was heard saying they were going to run an ad against Dr. Inglefield on Tuesday morning. He didn't even have the courtesy to listen to the man's answer. Wow! How ingenious! How original! Just like their ACORN thing from last year, but you know what they say about coming around and going around. Boys being boys, they never seem to learn that such tactics come back to bite you in the end.

Part 1

Part 2


Wendy Inglefield said...

Excellent post! I am proud of my brother’s performance last. He is already a leader in the community. He knows his facts. He knows the law. He is not running around at the last minute trying to learn about the cause of Hickory’s problems or introduce himself to community organizations and businesses for the first time. He has been listening to these organizations, businesses and the people of Hickory and responding in very concrete and personal ways for years. He is not just saying our community needs help – he is helping. I am especially proud of my brother’s stance on bringing a gun manufacturer to Hickory – a question planted by Josh Shampo (associated with Carlton Huffman, just Google their names and you will learn all you need to about these pathetic good old southern boys). Josh could barely contain himself when his question got picked and went into a fit of spasms, bending over repeatedly, laughing and then unable to contain himself, running from the auditorium announcing “book the paper for Tuesday.” Yikes.
My brother is the only one running who has been trained in medicine and as a pediatrician and knows the public health issues caused by gun violence and how those who suffer are most often the gun owners themselves. As my brother said after the program “we could bring a strip club and a casino to Union Square and that might be good for business, but just because it is legal and good for business does not make it good for Hickory.”
We also do not want a cruise strip like Myrtle Beach. We want meaningful, engaging activities and cultural events that will feed and nurture our youth and give them something to grow into and, ultimately, look back on and appreciate and want to return to, not just a joint to hang out at.
My brother, Jody, is the hardest working man I know and if Hickory chooses him as its mayor they will reap the rewards of his intelligence, focus, energy, thoughtfulness, inclusiveness and creativity. He will inspire people and bring back hope to Hickory.
Wendy Inglefield

James Thomas Shell said...

Wendy and everyone. I am full bore pro second amendment, but we all understand what that question was all about and that it was a Loaded Question, which is fine, but what these boys and their mutually assured destructive politics don't seem to understand is that what comes around goes around.

They were the reason why I had to start fully moderating this blog last year. They were the ones talking smack about the care of my grandmother during the process of her being placed in a nursing home and subsequently dying two months later a couple years ago. I have never forgotten that and never will. Understand that nothing is sacred with these guys. They don't pick their battles. They fight every battle as if it is a death match. It is telling about those who associate with this group and those who appear to appreciate their support and the fact that those people don't say "Thanks, but no thanks" to what we have witnessed from these boys over the past couple of years.

As for the other challenger candidates, I appreciate them all. There are no Johnny Come Lately candidates here. They all have served their public duties and we should appreciate the things that they have done and who they are.

Dr. Inglefield is a special man. Like I told him last night. He is so kind hearted, almost to a fault and the same goes for his lovely and gracious wife. You just honestly don't meet people with this much class in our modern, uncivil society these days and so the people of this town on the downs just don't understand and accept that not everyone is looking out for numero uno.

Over the past five years, I have further and further gotten to know your family and in a time when I have lost that sense of family from my past, as my life has evolved and I have been left to my own devices so to speak, it has been Inspirational in the truest sense of the word, to witness people with this grace step forward and attempt to bring Hickory back to Reality.

I want to apologize for getting your family into this rabbit hole. I was one of the people that was instrumental in a getting Rebecca involved in going to find out the truth about the Sails project. A truth that has not been provided to us to this day. And I was instrumental in getting Dr. Inglefield to step up and run for Mayor. He had intended to run against Jill Patton, so now she is unopposed and Rudy has five people in the field against him. Had I known that all these people were going to run, I would have still wanted Dr. Inglefield to run for Mayor, but could have lived and enjoyed him running against Mrs. Patton.

And to all of you agencies who have been supported by the Inglefields and who have abandoned the Inglefields and been talking smack to the public. And who are hooked up to the teet of Hickory Inc., I've been pointing all of this out to them. These things aren't going to be forgotten.

God bless you Inglefields!

James Thomas Shell said...

I didn't call you a good ole southern boy Carlton.

James Thomas Shell said...

Oh... for you that don't know. I was just responding to one of Carlton "Hollywood" Huffman's one line ditties involving his obsessions with Dr. Inglefield and Joe Brannock.

"Hollywood" is one of the most frequent viewers of the HH and the Youtube videos.

If you aren't sure who Carlton is. He was the guy who was paid some chicken feed to form the "No Steps Backward Coalition" for Rudy Wright last year and he has now formed the "Hickory United" PAC. Although, I think they meant "Hickory Confederated" PAC. Didn't you "Hollywood"?