Get an ongoing handle on public issues, opportunities
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Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012

Get an ongoing handle on public issues, opportunities

4th Monday Forum lets voters connect with lawmakers, says organizer Jerry Haney

  • Meetings are at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month at Unity Presbyterian Church, 8210 Unity Church Road, Denver. For information, contact Jerry Haney at jerryphaney@charter.net or 704-483-5258.

With the upcoming primary election only three months away, Jerry Haney knows it is important to be educated on issues affecting east Lincoln County.

Through his new organization, 4th Monday Forum, Haney is hoping to bring potential candidates and Denver residents together to share ideas. Folks running for Lincoln County offices, Senate, House of Representatives and 10th Congressional District are welcome to attend the meetings. 4th Monday Forum is nonpartisan and not intended to promote party politics.

"One of the things I am trying to do is make people aware of the contacts with the lawmakers, like the county commissioners and General Assembly," said Haney. "I am trying to encourage them to go to the right people when they have issues.

"Let them know how you feel about property tax, the appeal process or water quality in Lake Norman. There are things the county commissioners can do and there's things state legislature can do."

The Feb. 27 meeting is two days before the deadline for filing ends so Haney is hoping for a strong turnout. Last month, 52 people came to the meeting, which included seven candidates running for state and county offices.

"I was pleased," said Haney of last month's attendance. "I would like to see 100 people at these meetings. The more we can reach, the more informed our voters will be."

Haney, 70, has been active in the East Lincoln area since moving to the area in 1994. He is a member of the Lake Norman Covekeepers, East Lincoln Betterment Association and Lincoln Shoreline Community Organization. Also, Haney can regularly be seen at Lincoln County Commissioner, Planning Board and other governmental meetings.

"That is what I am trying to do - get other people involved because you don't know what's going on if you don't," said Haney.

Haney started the meetings in August, and since then, has got about 180 households enrolled on an e-mail listserv. Subscribers receive information on county meetings, the voting process and candidates as the election process progresses.

"I initially had about 70 positive responses from 70 households," said Haney. "I just have been talking it up ever since August and I picked up another 15 households since the last meeting."

Haney wants to keep 4th Monday Forum going, even after the May 8 primary election is over.

"I would love to have a venue for people to sit down and talk about things going on in government during the election year," he said. "It will be a little different during the election year, but there's plenty to talk about because that's when most of the stuff happens and people get riled up."

Sarah Melton is a freelance writer for Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Sarah? Email her at melton.sarah@ymail.com.

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