Reader letters Oct. 23

Oct 22, 2013

Elect Zeb Smathers

To the editor:

Have you Canton folks taken a good look at the candidates for the four seats on the Canton Board of Aldermen? With the current board, in its entirety, choosing not to run for re-election, Canton is looking at four new faces to help run the town and we need to elect the best.

Zeb Smathers hopes to earn one of these seats. Completing his education at Duke and UNC Law, he has chosen to return to his hometown to live, practice law, and promote the advantages of living in Canton.

He would like to use his time and talents to insure that Canton with these unique advantages continues to move forward and meet the challenges of an ever more changing and challenging future.

Zeb has much to offer as an alderman. In addition to his legal expertise, he is an enthusiastic and proactive individual, always exploring new ideas from a logical point of view. He currently serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church, is on both the Haywood County and Canton recreation boards, the Haywood County Schools Foundation, the NC Film Commission, and the Folkmoot Board of Directors all of which have given him firsthand leadership and problem solving experience.

I have worked side by side with Zeb and witnessed the sincere dedication, thoughtfulness and determination with which he approaches tasks and decisions. He truly cares about Canton and its future as well as that of Haywood County.

Zeb is aware of some of the challenges presented to the town, especially in the areas of economic development. He sees the importance of Canton’s role in taking a more pro-active approach in attracting new businesses along I-40 but also encouraging Canton’s existing businesses to expand. He is passionate regarding the town’s hardworking employees in making sure they have the training and resources to provide the best services possible. Zeb’s slogan is “Believe in Canton.” I believe that he can help lead and unite our town and strongly endorse Zeb for election.

Edie Burnette

Canton

The face of reform

To the editor:

The reformers have certainly changed the political landscape. Here in North Carolina, for example, the budget is stabilized, education streamlined, voting laws improved, unemployment benefits rehabilitated, and health care restructured.

In Washington, the budget issues are being solved, campaign finance laws simplified, foreign policy unscrambled, and energy and environmental concerns addressed. They continue to make life so much better.

The reformers need no thanks — they are doing all they can to and for North Carolina and the country. Who are these reformers, these public servants, these do-gooders? Well, they are the Republicans who got elected to represent and serve us, the people. Please keep their promises and accomplishments firmly in mind next time you vote.

Bill Lusto

Waynesville

 

Kiwanis helps schools

To the editor:

In a recent edition of The Mountaineer you wrote an article about how Great Beginnings Dentistry was a big help to the school system. It was a very good article. However, you concluded the article with accolades to over 60 local businesses, churches and nonprofits that also had given much to the schools.

Though we know it was not a deliberate omission, the Kiwanis Club of Waynesville was not included in this list despite giving in excess of $350,000 to the schools over the past 12 years through various grants. It was through the community’s generosity and support of Kiwanis fund raising projects, such as our recent barbecue and our Spelling Bee next spring, that our club was able to provide this support to the children of Haywood County.

John Franco

Maggie Valley

Canton has made significant progress in past four years

This is my first ever letter to the editor.  I feel I must respond to comments made in local papers by several candidates for Canton alderman.  One statement made was that there had been no progress made in Canton over the last four years, and that things had declined during that time, others referred to lack of infrastructure and economic development.

Some of the many accomplishments made over that last four years are as follows:

1.  A new larger sewer line was extended to Buckeye Cove at a cost of $1.8 million paid for with grants and local funds with no additional town debt,  all contributing to future economic development.

2.  The town cooperated with the county, the hospital and private business to locate a new Urgent Care in Canton.

3.  Purchased a new fire truck at more than $300,000, which enabled our fire department to maintain top rating so our citizens get the best home owner insurance at a lower cost.

4.  Secured grants to fund a new water line in the Beaverdam and North Canton Road area that would  have otherwise cost town citizens.

5.  Secured funding in excess of $1 million to install a new storm drainage system from Radio Hill to Evergreen which will help mitigate future flooding problems.

6.  Helped form a NC Step Group in Canton that has acquired $125,000 to help promote Canton businesses.

7.  Worked with DOT to secure funding for new sidewalk on Penland Street.

8.  Have paved more road footage that any board in the past decade and have in place a sidewalk replacement program that has spent $50,000 plus each of the last four years.

9.  Fought two major legal battles — one to keep Camp Hope public and one to prevent large billboards all over town.

10. Invested more money into recreation to hire a full-time recreation person, installed a sand volleyball court, enhanced lighting at the old tennis courts, began walking in the armory in the winter, and also picking in the armory in the winter, along with new batting cages and some much needed drainage work at IP Complex.

11. Worked to get the question of staggered terms on the ballot for our citizens to decide which way they wanted to elect the board.

12. We were able to provide new weapons for our police department to replace other outdated ones along with new radar equipment and drug fighting equipment.  Funding was acquired through grants and sale of surplus equipment.

All of this and more was accomplished over the last four years with no ad valorem tax increase to our citizens and were also able to give a small raise to our employees by combining several positions as people retired.  Several candidates have stated they will move Canton forward and recruit new business downtown, but no one has stated how they plan to do it, and where the funding will come from.

As for the new town manager, I will not refer to what was discussed in closed session concerning personnel, however, I feel we have capable personnel to run the town government in the interim while the new board decide who they want.

Last of all I sincerely give my best wishes for the new board, whomever is elected and hope they can accomplish great things for the town of Canton, and I encourage them to vote on all issues with the Town of Canton taxpayers and employees best interest at heart.

There are many other accomplishments over the last four years I would be glad to discuss one on one with any taxpayer.  I will always support the Town  of Canton in any way I can.

 

Jimmy Flynn is a retired town employee who has served on the town’s governing board for the past four years.

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