Mull brings 'fresh perspective' to Canton race

By DeeAnna Haney | Oct 23, 2013
Gail Mull

Though she considers herself “the most unlikely politician on the face of the earth,” Gail Mull hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the Canton board of aldermen.

The youngest of nine siblings — four brothers and five sisters — Mull said one of her strongest attributes as alderman candidate is her easy-going attitude.

“I am not argumentative. Being the youngest in the family, you learn to get along. You get a lot more done with honey than you do vinegar,” she said.

A graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Mull worked as an executive secretary at the paper mill for 30 years until her retirement in July. She also works part-time at the United Steel Workers local 507 in Canton.

If elected, she wants to focus on the downtown area.

“I think downtown Canton needs a facelift and a boost, and I think our young people and our seniors are the areas we need to concentrate on,” Mull said regarding her top three issues she believes are facing the town right now.

“I think what we need to do is highlight the fact that we are a mill town and thrive because of it, not in spite of it. The mill is a large part of Canton — it’s why Canton is here,” she said.

Though she knows downtown needs a change, Mull isn’t sure how to make those changes happen.

“Until you’re elected alderman and figure out the resources that are there, I have ideas but I don’t know if they are possible. We need to work together to come up with a workable plan, I do know that,” she said.

If elected, she hopes to assist with funding existing senior programs, such as the Canton Senior Center, and work with them to come up with new ideas to provide more resources for local senior citizens.

Recreation for children is also on Mull’s mind, especially the deteriorating swimming pool.

The current board has tossed around several options from downsizing the deteriorating pool to replacing it with a water park. The only obstacle is the price tag that comes along with such a project.

“I certainly think we need to keep it open. I know it’s not a money-maker, but the youth and their parents get a lot out of the swimming pool. Once we lose it we will never get it back. I don’t think closing the pool should even be considered,” she said.

However, she does not currently have any suggestions about where the money will come from to fund the project.

Mull also appreciates the value of Camp Hope, which has been a major issue over the past several months. The new board will take responsibility for making decisions as far as the legal battle for the camp and the amount of taxpayer money to be spent on legal fees.

“I don’t think that’s wasted effort or money,” she said. “I realize it will be expensive but I think letting it go would be a bigger mistake.”

If and when the town is able to own Camp Hope free and clear, Mull said she is not sure how to market and promote the camp.

“I honestly do not know. I agree that it should, but the ways and the means I do not know. It’s obviously going to be an enormous amount of money but it’s so beautiful and it was given to us for free,” she said.

Mull feels that her lack of experience could be an asset to her campaign.

“I have never held a political position before — never even considered it. So when I filed I had no idea the other aldermen were not running. I have never been to a town hall meeting, so I feel like the one thing I do have to offer is a fresh opinion,” she said.