Brooke Sikora of Hope Mills, asks: “I just turned 18. As a first time voter, I would like to know why I should vote for you.”
Each week, we choose a question from a reader and pose it to candidates running in municipal races in Cumberland County.
Brooke Sikora, who lives in Hope Mills, asks: “I just turned 18. As a first time voter, I would like to know why I should vote for you.”
We sent her question to the candidates for Hope Mills mayor and Board of Commissioners, who will all be on the Nov. 7 ballot. Their responses are unedited.
Hope Mills mayoral candidates
Keith Bowen: At 18 you’re just now becoming an adult, the decisions you make from here on through your life journey will mold you into the person you’ll need to become. Your local governments are more important to your everyday living being they affect everything you do within your town, city, and or community. When choosing your candidate you always need to look first past what they’re doing in their campaign, and look what they’ve done for the community prior to wanting to be elected, then you want to see which candidate best sutes you? What candidate do you think will make your life in Hope Mills better? How they’ll go the extra mile to protect you, and hear your voice? I can’t speak on other candidates, only me, and what I want for Hope Mills. And I want a more family orientated community, a government that wants to include our younger generation into our town and it’s doings, I want safer streets for you and your friends to enjoy, I want to add things to our Town that’ll be fun and exciting for friends and family to enjoy! I want transparency with our people. I want to bring jobs to Hope Mills, some that’ll help our people, and some that’ll generate money for our town. I want our police officers to be paid what they deserve, I want them to have the best equipment and vehicles we can get them. I want our fire fighters to have the same things, more money, and equipment, our towns workers need better equipment to assure our town stays beautiful! I want to put a end to useless money spending and use our money where it needs to be used first! So all I can ask you to do on election day is, Vote Keith Bowen For Hope Mills Mayor, make your first vote of your life count the best way!
Jackie Warner: My entire career as a teacher and principal give me a background in working with our youth. As a public servant I must address the needs of all of our citizens and ensure that we offer opportunities for our young adults as well as our senior citizens. I offer the experience of an educator , a small business owner and most important a mother & grandmother that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone in Hope Mills. I am encouraged by this question and optimistic that our 18 year old voters will be informed when they go to the polls in November !
Jessie L. Bellflowers: My vision is simple:“Continuous improvement of quality of life for our community that will naturally grow and progress in an economically sustainable and healthy environment.” We must focus every day on enriching the lives of our town citizens by creating an exceptional community to work and live in while providing exemplary town services that enables our community to thrive and prosper. There is no question that addressing the many challenges that face our community will require effective leadership, creative thinking, collaboration, building cooperation and consensus, and a tremendous amount of teamwork. I pledge to listen and have an open mind on all issues facing our community and ask for the opportunity to help lead our community in a positive direction forward as one we are proud to call home. As a first time voter, it is very important to vote because your vote is your voice and opinion.
Tonzie K. Collins: Many young people cite feelings about issues as though their vote does not count as their reason for not participating in elections and many choose not to participate in voting. States, cities and municipalities are more divided in America today more than ever.
Speaking not just for the young votes but all voters I will not sit idle but I will be trying to make major political decisions for our great town.
Youth voters like you who want to inspire changes need to support me because I am going to support what best represents your needs.
For someone just starting out to venture out in life adulthood brings many new challenges, like college, marriage, buying a house, paying health insurance and many other things, all which could radically change your perspective on political issues. While you can’t predict where you’ll be in four or five years, you can be sure that the political officials elected into office and the policies they implement will impact your life in the coming months and years.
I promise to you if elected, I will have a say, I will speak up, I will make a choice and I will take part as your commissioner to protect yours and others interest at all times.
In conclusion please get out and vote Tuesday November 7th, 2017 for me because I am the best candidate.
Pat Edwards: I am considered a Politician with no personal agenda. The only agenda I have is yours, the residents of Hope Mills and the Town. I have been a Town Commissioner since 2011. My best advice to you would be to attend our Town Board Meetings. We meet the first and third Monday of each month. I could give you a lot of reasons to to vote for me but the best way is to get involved and meet all the candidates. I hope all the young men and women like you will show the same interest that you are.
Meg Larson: Congratulations on being a first-time voter. Thank you for showing an interest in your community and government. As a mother of a soon-to-be 18 year old, I understand the importance of our young adults being active participants in the community. If elected, I want to encourage more community involvement in the decision-making processes in government. I will work hard to do what is in the best interest of Hope Mills. I believe in an open and transparent government. I am a good listener and a critical thinker. I will thoroughly research issues and do my best to make informed decisions to move our community forward in a positive direction. I will always speak up for what is right and fair. I plan to work hard to make our community a better place for you and all others who come to live, work and play in Hope Mills.
Jerry Legge: Thank you for your question. I stand and fight for all the people of Hope Mills, not just a few. At 18 years old you are the future; and maybe a future leader, for this town. Your age doesn’t matter to me because you are a voter and I treat everyone the same.
If you look on the back of my campaign card you will see that under my “Beliefs and Goals” I state that “Children are our Future” and I really believe that.
I also believe that you should stand up and fight for what you believe in, even if you are the only one standing. I would like to have your vote on Nov 7.
Bryan A. Marley: I would like to thank you first for wanting to vote and make a difference in your town. I have lived in and around Hope Mills my entire life, I am also a former town employee. I have served Two terms as commissioner. I love the Town of Hope Mills and wish to continue to see it grow and be the town where people say they want to live. I would like to have your vote, however I would encourage you to come to the town meetings and be envolved in the town through our many committees. This way you can guage for yourself who you feel the best candidates are. Even if I do not get your vote, please vote, your vote counts!
Kenjuana D. McCray: If elected as commissioner, I will bring a new vision for the growth of the town of Hope Mills. Among my goals are to make Hope Mills a community that attracts young people and families to settle in and make this town their home. To do this, I will advocate for more jobs and recreational opportunities that are so important in today’s society and attractive to young people and families with children. I believe Hope Mills needs a fresh set of eyes, and more importantly ‘ears’, to hear what is needed to make the community vibrant and ready for growth. This includes tackling urgent infrastructure problems currently affecting those living in this community. With my track record in community service, my career as an educator and my desire to provide transparency to the people of Hope Mills, I believe I am the best choice in this election.
Mike Mitchell: If elected Hope Mills Commissioner, I plan on establishing the first ever “Young Adults Advisory Committee”. This committee will be used to gain insight to issues that are important to our younger citizens and help bridge the current generation gap when it comes to governing our Town. As a father of two South View High School graduates, I see the need for more nontraditional sports and recreational activities as well as more arts and music events. I try my best to reach out to younger citizens through texting and social media to learn their priorities and needs. I am the current Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Chairperson, a former Mayor Pro Tem, and a Certified Public Accountant. I am proud of you for voting and hope that more young citizens will exercise their right to vote as well. My cell is 910-964-2632, if you would like to share ideas.
Note: Commissioner candidate Bob Gorman did not respond