Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Drexel Mayoral candidates consider future of downtown, community center

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This week, The Paper profiles four candidates seeking a seat on the Drexel Board of Aldermen and two candidates competing for Mayor of Drexel. 

In Drexel, the office of mayor, currently held by Dennis Anthony, and three alderman seats will be on the ticket this November. 

Anthony was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Danny Ritchie and has filed to continue as Mayor of Drexel. Rick Cline, currently serving as a Drexel alderman, has filed to run against Anthony for the mayoral seat which leaves his seat as an alderman open.

In July, Alderman Matt Johnson resigned his seat to seek the position of Drexel Town Manager. His seat is currently vacant.

Scott Coe’s seat is also on the ballot, however, Coe is currently serving the unexpired term of then alderman, Dennis Anthony, who was appointed to serve as Mayor of Drexel. Coe is unopposed and will continue to hold his seat as alderman.

Individuals appointed to a board or council are required to run for their seat in the next scheduled election. Thus, Anthony and Coe are required to run if they desire to continue in their respective offices.

For the candidate profiles featured below, each person was provided with an equal and fair opportunity to respond to the questions specific to their community and given 10 days to complete their responses. 

Alderman candidates Lara Melott, Chelsea Suttles, Allen Reed, and Terry Yount (incumbent) participated in the candidate questionnaire provided by The Paper. Christopher Curtis (Chris) Brown, on the ballot for an alderman seat in Drexel, did not respond and is therefore not included in the profiles. Mayoral candidates Rick Cline and Dennis Anthony (incumbent) also participated in the questionnaire.

Each candidate’s answers are presented here as they were provided to The Paper without editing except in the case where an obvious spelling error was noted. In such cases, the candidate was contacted for clarification.

The Paper’s questions are in bold. Responses are in regular type.

Early voting begins on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 8 a.m. and continues on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Nov. 2. Early voting is also available on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

There are four locations available for early voting including the Burke County Board of Elections office at 2128 S Sterling St. in the Foothills Education Building in Morganton. 

Other locations are: Burke Senior Citizens Center on North Green Street in Morganton; Rutherford College Town Hall on Malcolm Boulevard; and Hildebran Library and Senior Center in downtown Hildebran.

Pam Walker, the Central Burke Reporter at The Paper, provided the questions for the candidates and compiled the submitted materials and images for this series. She may be reached at pam@thepaper.media or 828-443-6103.

 

Dennis Anthony

Dennis Anthony

 

Full name: Dennis A. Anthony (Incumbent)

Age: 66

Education:

East Burke High School - Icard, NC - 1975

Military service: None

Employment :

Retired from Burke County Public Schools - 14 yrs

How long have you lived in the town in which you desire to serve? 52 yrs.

Do you own your home? Yes

If so, how long have you lived at that address? 20 yrs.

WHY ARE YOU SEEKING ELECTION?

I am seeking re-election for Mayor of the Town of Drexel. I want to continue the development of the Drexel Heritage Property. Also the continued growth of the R.O. Huffman Center.

 

If elected, what will be your primary focus during your first six months in office? 

Working with our new Town Manager in updates for the Town of Drexel. Keeping our Police, Fire, & Maintenance Dept. fully employed for the safety of the Town.

 If elected, how will you address recent property revaluations and the subsequent increase in the actual dollar amount citizens are paying in property taxes?

Work with the Town Manager to make sure the Citizens of Drexel get the best service at a lower rate as possible.

The buildings in the downtown historic area are privately owned. What would you do to address the decline of the buildings and revitalize this area? 

Form a partnership with the owners with the help of the Town Manager.

What would be your long-term goals for the R.O. Huffman Recreation Center and how would these be funded?

For the R.O. Huffman Center to continue to grow with adult & youth programs. They have brought back adult softball after 20+ years. Have youth football, baseball, basketball, soccer programs. 

Any fees they have for the programs stay at the center for their funding. We have designated a percentage from the Drexel Fair & Spring Carnival to go to the center. 

If elected as a public servant, what legacy do you hope to achieve during your tenure in office? 

I have been in office for 8 yrs as Alderman & Mayor. I would like for my legacy to be that  I left Drexel in better shape than when I first took office. 

Any additional comments or remarks?

Editor’s note: no additional comments or remarks were provided by Mr. Anthony for this section. 

 

Rick Cline

Rick Cline

 

Full name: Charles Rick Cline (current Drexel alderman)

Age: 68

Education:

Morganton High School

WPCC - CVCC

Military service: None

Employment:

Retired from JIRDC

How long have you lived in the town in which you desire to serve? 45 years

Do you own your home? Yes

If so, how long have you lived at that address? 45 years

 

WHY ARE YOU SEEKING ELECTION?

Help the town of Drexel move forward. Try to get the citizens more involved.

If elected, what will be your primary focus during your first six months in office?

Drexel Heritage property move forward. Help control the budget.

If elected, how will you address recent property revaluations and the subsequent increase in the actual dollar amount citizens are paying in property taxes? 

This budget year, we had a decrease in taxes and I would like to see it like that – if possible.

The buildings in the downtown historic area are privately owned. What would you do to address the decline of the buildings and revitalize this area? 

First - get the owners of each building involved. Second - be an encourager to the owners.

What would be your long-term goals for the R.O. Huffman Recreation Center and how would these be funded?

Continuing to have activities. Keep communication open with director. The funding comes for the activities held in the community center. 

If elected as a public servant, what legacy do you hope to achieve during your tenure in office? 

I would like my legacy to be: helping get Drexel back to a positive town. Also, to be known as working with the board and citizens to try to achieve a better Drexel. 

Any additional comments or remarks ?

I am all about Drexel – to see it grow, seeing progress. Keeping things positive and helping the citizens.