Andrews candidates chat with citizens one more time
Before election day, people crowded into the Andrews Community Center Thursday evening to gain one last look at their next potential mayor and aldermen.
Serving as a casual meet and greet, the evening consisted of lively chatting, deep discussions and impromptu speeches by the candidates who showed up.
Before diving into the conversational part of the evening, N.C. Rep. Kevin Corbin (R-N.C.) took the stage. He voiced his appreciation of all of the mayoral and aldermen candidates and talked about his hand in bringing to fruition House Bill 13.
Most of the community members who made an appearance, came with the intentions of getting a better grasp on the people they will possibly vote for.
Margo Locust, the owner of Locust Trading Company in Andrews, said she wanted to vote for people who would prove a positive example towards her children.
“I don’t know a lot of the people running,” she said. “Whoever gets elected is going to affect my business. I want someone who is upstanding, respectful and has integrity.”
As people were engaging in conversation, certain topics remained popular including NFocus, the water rates, infrastructure and the Andrews Police Department.
Paul Earwood said his main concern was the financial state of the town. He proposed that Andrews put its money towards infrastructure, the Andrews Police Department and the fire departments.
Ruth McGaha, who has lived in Andrews for 60 years, said she had a couple of concerns.
“I think the water rates are too high,” she said. We need more unity. They (Board of Aldermen) can’t get anything done without unity. They need to work on putting God first.”
As for the fate of NFocus, most people seemed adamant on transitioning away from the consulting company. Marion Cathey said the town already received the counseling they needed from NFocus and now is the time to phase out of their contract.
A majority of the people who came out the meet and greet also voiced concerns with the lack of jobs in town. Town Hall employee Darlene Lackey said bringing jobs into Andrews should be the Board of Aldermen’s No. 1 priority.
Owner of Ralph Crisp Realty, Ralph Crisp also showed concern with the town’s economic state.
“There are two things that are important, economic development and jobs,” he said. “Without those the community can’t grow and move forward.” Marilyn DuMont, who owns The Open Porch in downtown Andrews, encouraged people to heavily evaluate their options before voting on Tuesday.
“I think this is a critical election for Andrews,” she said. “It is a critical time to turn Andrews in a direction of prosperity. I think it’s the most important election in years. It’s going to take a team of people working together to pull this place back into an economically viable town.”