Faith incumbents face challengers

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 1, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
FAITH — Three newcomers will take on four incumbents for five slots on the Faith Board of Alderman.
Mayor Keith Deal, Mayor Pro Tem Todd Peeler and Alderman Bill Johnson and Gary Gardner are vying to keep their seats on the board.
Mark Shores, who is currently serving his 10th term, is not seeking re-election.
Gay Sanderson, Ronald Mauzy and Mike Hibler are making their first bids for political office.
The incumbents agree they would like to continue serving on the board to build momentum for priorities they have already set.
“There is a good bond with all the members of the board,” Peeler, 48, said. “We all seem to have the same goals in mind.
One of those goals is holding the tax rate steady without slashing services to the town.
“This year we did pretty good despite the economic times, we maintained the tax rate and kept all the services we have,” Gardner, 64, said. “I’m looking to continue that.”
Johnson, 52, said the board has strived to manage town expenses in a cost-effective manner.
“We continue to investigate economical avenues to provide services by partnering with Granite for police protection and bring others services in-house,” he said. “I believe we still have work to do and enjoy working with the alderman to represent our town.”
Deal, 56, said with a large senior citizen population he thinks it is even more important to keep taxes at an affordable rate.
“We know it’s a hard time for everybody right now in this recession and we’re trying to keep the tax down as low as we can get it,” he said.
Deal and Peeler said they want to continue working to ensure the town’s newly-created public works department is properly utilized.
Peeler said the full-time public works director partners with the volunteer fire department.
“They do a whole lot of town work for us that results in less outsourcing, which means a cost savings for the town,” he said. “We’ll be able to do everything in house.”
Mauzy, 39, said he opted to run for a spot on the board because he wants to “maintain the small town charm and values that exist in Faith.”
If elected, he plans to focus on improving the safety and security of the town by ramping up public safety efforts.
Sanderson, 64, would like to shift some of the emphasis to senior citizens who reside in the town.
She is also interested in making the town more vibrant place to live.
“Faith beautification is a priority of mine,” she said. “I would like everyone to see Faith as the beautiful little town it is.”
Sanderson currently serves on the town’s beatification committee.
Hibler said if elected he would like to host a town hall-style meeting.
“I want to get everybody together and listen to them and let them tell me what their priorities are,” he said. “If you let them talk and you listen you’re going to accomplish something.”
Faith does not have a separate election for mayor. Traditionally, the top vote-getter in the Board of Alderman race serves as mayor for that term and the next highest vote-getter serves as mayor pro tem.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
Faith candidates

Keith Deal.
Office sought: Alderman.
Age: 56.
Address: 3001 Gantt St.
Phone: 704-239-0536.
Occupation: Retired from Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Education: East Rowan High School graduate.
Previous elected office: Faith Mayor since 2009, Faith fire chief for 20 years.
Community involvement: Deacon at Faith Baptist Church, personnel committee at Faith Baptist, North Carolina Men’s Association’s disaster relief team.
Family: Wife, Terri.

Gary Gardner.
Office sought: Alderman
Age: 64.
Address: 422 W. Second St.
Phone: 704-279-2091.
Occupation: Retired after 40 years with Duke Energy.
Education: East Rowan High School graduate, associate degree in business from Rowan Technical College, U.S. Army.
Previous elected office: Currently serving his 13th term on the Faith Board of Alderman.
Community involvement: Faith American Legion Post 327, Keller Memorial Masonic Lodge No. 657, Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith.
Family: Wife, Shirley Gardner. Three adult children, Scott and Chris Gardner and Amy Jackson.

Mike Hibler.
Office sought: Alderman.
Age: 60.
Address: 1017 Battle St.
Phone: 704-754-2624.
Occupation: Retired U.S. Army after 28 years.
Education: Two years of college at various institutions.
Previous elected office: Elected office in the U.S. Army.
Community involvement: Advocate for Disabled American Veterans, North Carolina Emergency Reserves, volunteers with local Boy Scout troops and little league teams.
Family: Daughters Shayna and Kristen.

Bill Johnson.
Office sought: Alderman.
Age:  52.
Address: 1270 Balfour Quarry Road, Salisbury.
Phone: 704-209-6184.
Occupation: Administrator of Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks.
Education: Bachelor of Arts from Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio.
Previous elected office: Faith Mayor 2006-09 and Faith Alderman 2010-present.
Community involvement: Faith Lutheran Church.
Family: Wife, Lydia. Three children, Bailee, Kendal and Will.

Ronald Leon Mauzy.
Office sought: Alderman.
Age: 39.
Address: 3001 Raney St.
Phone: 704-224-7676.
Occupation: Owner of Faith Transport.
Education: Fredonia Central High School graduate, Basic Law Enforcement Training at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, U.S. Army.
Previous elected office: None.
Community involvement: Small business owner.
Family: Wife, Kathy. Two daughters, Heather and Megan; son Michael.

Todd Peeler.
Office sought: Alderman.
Age: 48.
Address: 3011 School St.
Phone: 704-239-7564.
Occupation: Scheduling specialist for Duke Energy.
East Rowan High School graduate.
Previous elected office: Currently serving his third term on the Faith Board of Alderman.
Community involvement: Faith Lutheran Church, groundskeeper at Faith Lutheran, Keller Memorial Lodge in Rockwell.
Family: Wife, Laura. Two sons Chris and Gavin; two daughters, Ashtyn and Karli.

Name: Gay Stirewalt Sanderson
Office sought: Alderwoman.
Age: 64.
Address: 119 S. Main St.
Phone: 704-209-0720.
Occupation: Housewife.
Education: East Rowan High School graduate, Salisbury Business College.
Previous elected office: None.
Community involvement: Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith, Faith Civitans, Executive Republican Committee 2001-09, Faith beautification committee.
Family: Husband, Maxey. Two sons, Derek and Chad Sanderson.