Mooresville voters will decide 3 races on Nov. 5
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Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

Mooresville voters will decide 3 races on Nov. 5

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    Courtesy of Miles Atkins -
    Miles Atkins
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    Courtesy of J. Leon Pridgen -
    J. Leon Pridgen
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    Courtesy of Frank Owens -
    Frank Owens
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    Ken Charnock -

Mooresville residents will elect three commissioners and a mayor in the Nov. 5 general election, though the mayor’s race and one of the Board of Commissioners races are uncontested.

Voters will make choices in the commissioner at-large, and Ward 3 commissioner races, as well as in one seat on the Mooresville Graded School Board of Education.

Mayor Miles Atkins and Ward 4 commissioner candidate Lisa Qualls are running unopposed. Iredell County polling places will be open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

Early voting started Oct. 17 and is available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Board of Election Office, 203 Stockton St., Statesville. The last time to early vote will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 2 and will be the only Saturday that polls are open.

Details and information: 704-878-3140, www.co.iredell.nc.us/departments/elections.

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Commissioner at-large

David Coble

Age: 36

Family: Wife, Amanda; daughters Madeline, 11, Ellie, 4; son Andrew, 6.

Occupation: Data Sourcing Manager for Bank of America

Education: Bachelors degree, communications studies, UNC Charlotte.

Previous public office: None

Related experience: Current chair, town of Mooresville Capital Improvement Panel; past chair town of Mooresville MI-Connection Citizen Advisory Panel; ; member Mooresville Graded School District Parents Advisory Council

What do you think are the most important issues facing Mooresville and is there a particular goal you would work to accomplish if elected?

“First is effectively managing our growth. Right now, only 9 percent of Mooresville's population lives and works in Mooresville. We need that number to be much higher, so I want to work to bring good paying jobs to Mooresville that will compliment our residential growth.

“Second is MI-Connection. We need to grow the asset so that the the debt service can be paid by revenues, not taxpayers. Until 2017 we can't consider selling it so we need it to be successful to eliminate the need for taxpayer dollars to subsidize it.

“Third is growing downtown. I want to see a downtown district that encompasses not just Main Street but also Church and Broad streets with retail and residential growth that makes our downtown a destination.

Rhett Dusenbury

Age: 50

Occupation: Relief postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service; licensed North Carolina real estate broker

Family: Wife, Cristin Carpenter Dusenbury

Elected/government experience: Current Mooresville commissioner; town board of Mooresville liaison to Iredell County Board of Commissioners.

Related experience: Executive board member, Iredell County Republican Party; member, The John Locke Society; The Heritage Foundation.

What do you think are the most important issues facing Mooresville and is there a particular goal you would work to accomplish if elected?

“The growth of Mooresville is a challenge, because with growth comes subsequent need for capital improvements and the increase or maintenance of the tax rate.

“The byproduct of growth is impact on infrastructure and services.

“The increased growth combined with increased infrastructure and service needs has to be paid from taxpayer funds, so how do we manage the tax rate to pay for all the increases?”

Commissioner, Ward 3

Ralph McNeely “Mac” Herring

Age: 51

Family: Wife, Jill Stubbs Herring; children, Nell McNeely Herring, 18, Van Kilpatrick Herring, 15.

Previous political office: Ward 3 Mooresville commissioner since 2005; Mayor pro tempore, 2011-present.

Relevant experience: Mooresville downtown commission, 2007-11, Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2011-present; Lake Norman Transportation Commission, 2011-present, Mooresville Seniors Rountable, 2012-present; Mooresville Historic Perservation Commission: Chair, 2001-05;

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Guilford College; associate degree in applied science of nursing, Carolinas College of Heallth Care Science, Charlotte.

Occupation: Director of professional relations, Catawba Regional Hospice.

What do you think are the most important issues facing Mooresville and is there a particular goal you would work to accomplish if elected?

“Our downtown redevelopment remains a priority. It is the very Heart of Mooresville. Parking remains an issue, as does the development of appropriate infill that enhances our designated Historic Core and provides a stronger Downtown tax base as well as additional residential opportunities.

“Job Diversity will continue to be a priority if Mooresville is to maintain its current sound local economy. We are developing an industrial park to provide for new job creation – I intend to see that this park is soon opened and available for the right kind of development that enhances the Quality Of Life for all our citizens.

Frank Owens

Age: 68

Family: Wife, Christa; adult daughter, Torie.

Occupation: Retired Mooresville police captain.

Education: Mooresville graded schools; during working career, attended and completed numerous job-related courses. Graduated from the Institute of Government at Chapel Hill in police executive management.

Political experience: Mooresville commissioner at Large 1997-2005.

What do you think are the most important issues facing Mooresville and is there a particular goal you would work to accomplish if elected?

“As to growth, we need more say in what type of developments we have here in Mooresville. It is sad that out of town real estate develophers come in, build their development and reap their benefits and profits and then leave town and burden the taxpayer with hidden expenses such as increase traffic, inadequate roads and need for more infrastructure.

“We have severe traffic problems here in town. We have some lights that will only stay on for about six seconds and others will stay on for a long time, creating a traffic jams that sometimes backs up for a block or more. This can be fixed by adding more turn lanes, left turn signals and having the lights working together instead of against one another.

As to high taxes, we need to reduce our tax rates and this can be done by being more responsible with tax money and look closely for waste in all town departments. We don't need to continue to be a bank for developers to run to asking for low-interest loans backed by the town such as the Langtree project nor taking risky chances with our tax dollars.”

“About $5 million a year is spent by the town just to keep MI-Connection afloat and we are also using our tax dollars to pay a portion of the Ton of Davidson's part since they "say" they cannot afford to pay their whole share.”

School board

J. Leon Pridgen II

Age: 48

Family: Wife, two children.

Occupation: Self-employed actor, author and independent contractor with Discovery Education.

Education: Associate’s degree in business administration and marketing from Central Piedmont Community College.

Previous public office: None.

Related experience: Advocate for the Mooresville Graded School District, Member the Mooresville Foundation for Excellence in Education, served on the Iredell Statesville Schools and MGSD Facilities Task Force, Served on the MGSD Parent Advisory Committee and worked with the school safety team.

What do you think are the most important issues facing Mooresville graded schools/is there a particular goal you would work to accomplish if elected?

“As this question relates to our school district, I have a growing sense that NC public schools are being threatened by some at a local, county and state level. I have been an advocate for children and will continue to do so, but I will now be an additional voice for our educators, who do outstanding work and received waning support and a from some of our elected officials.”

Michael Gregory Whitfield

Age: 48

Family: Wife, Leigh Lowder Whitfield; children Michael Gregory Whitfield Jr., 14, Richard Lowder Whitfield, 11.

Occupation: Attorney, Whitfield & Mock PLLC.

Education: Bachelor of science in business administration, UNC Chapel Hill; juris doctor, UNC Chapel Hill School of Law.

Previous public office: None.

Related experience: Member, the Mooresville Foundation for Excellence in Education, since 2010, vice chair, 2012-13; Joint Education Facilities Task Force for Iredell, Statesville and Mooresville, 2012; Mooresville Graded School District parent advisory committee, 2009-present; Parent Teacher Organization family memberships have included Park View Elementary, East Mooresville Intermediate and Mooresville Middle Schools; town of Mooresville Planning Board Member, 2007-2008; chair 2010; Vanderburg United Methodist Chair, Education Committee, chair 1997.

What do you think are the most important issues facing Mooresville graded schools/is there a particular goal you would work to accomplish if elected?

“I am extremely proud of what the Mooresville Graded School District has accomplished. I firmly believe, if children are given the right tools, instruction and opportunity, they will not only succeed in school but will give back to the community and provide a better future for us all.

“Having served on the Joint Education Facilities Task Force for Iredell-Statesville and Mooresville Graded school districts, I am interested in the physical needs of our facilities, both immediate and long-term, as well as collaborative ventures that may be involved in making necessary improvements.

“Staying at the forefront of technology, managing and planning for growth, and continuing to focus and improve upon the safety, health and welfare of our students and educators are additional areas of interest to me, not only as a parent but as a business owner and member of the community.”

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