• 73°

Cleveland finances emerge as election isssue

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
CLEVELAND — Mayor John Steele is running unopposed for re-election, but two of his fellow Board of Commissioners members have some competition.
Newcomers Richard Taylor and Leonard West will take on incumbents John Bradford and Mary Frank Fleming-Adkins for two seats on the board.
Several of the candidates said the town’s finances are a top priority.
Cleveland has maintained a fund balance of more than $2.7 million throughout the past five years. Last fiscal year, the fund balance was $3 million, or 316 percent of general fund expenditures.
The town increased the property tax rate from 21 cents per $100 assessed value to 25 cents this year in order to remain revenue neutral after the Rowan County revaluation process. However, it still boasts the lowest property taxes rate in Rowan County.
West, 60, said he’s a believer in smaller government.
“I think government continues to grow and grow, and it’s just not sustainable,” he said. “I just don’t see anybody making an effort to cut back or reduce spending, just because you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.”
Bradford, 56, said he thinks the town is in good shape and wants to continue the work he’s done on the board for the past decade.
“I want to strengthen the infrastructure as much as possible so that it will be good for many years to come,” he said.
Steele, 68, said he also wants to see the town maintain financial stability.
“We’ve had to be very careful with our finances,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue to make improvement in the infrastructure.”
Steele said he would also like to see the town have an infusion of economic development.
“I hope that Cleveland can have controlled growth,” he said. “We want to make progress, but take into consideration the history of the town and the needs of the people.”
West said he’s running for the board because he thinks it’s time for some changes.
“I think it’s too much of the same old, same old,” he said. “They do everything the way it’s been done before; there is a need for some change, but not major change.”
But Taylor, 53, is taking a different approach.
“I think the present Cleveland commissioners are doing a great job. I would just like to be able to help,” he said.
Steele said he hopes residents will turn out at the polls on Election Day.
“It doesn’t matter who they vote for, I just think it’s important to vote,” he said. “I encourage them to do that.”
Fleming-Adkins could not be reached for comment for this story.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

Candidates
Name: Mary Frank Fleming-Adkins.
Office sought: Commissioner.
Age: Not provided.
Address: 211 Maple St., Cleveland.
Phone number: 704-278-2286.
Occupation: Not provided.
Education: Not provided.    
Previous elected office: Current town commissioner.
Community involvement: Not provided.
Family: Not provided.
Name: Richard L. Taylor.
Office sought: Commissioner.
Age: 53.
Address: 207 Third Creek Church Road, Cleveland.
Phone number: 704-278-4329.
Occupation: Furniture and cabinetmaking instructor at West Rowan High School.
Education: Associate degree in law enforcement from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Bachelor in Sociology, associate degree in carpentry and construction from Rowan-Cabarrus, N.C. teacher certification in trade and industry, drafting/design and technology education.
Previous elected office: None.
Community involvement: Third Creek Presbyterian Church.
Family: Wife, Julie. Daughter Judith Wherrett.
Name: John Bradford.
Office sought: Commissioner.
Age: 56.
Address: 414 W. Main St., Cleveland.
Phone number: 704-214-2976.
Occupation: Self-employed contractor.
Education: West Rowan graduate, Catawba College.
Previous elected office: Currently serving as town commissioner.
Community involvement: Cleveland United Methodist Church .
Family: Wife, Debra Jacobs.
Name: Leonard M. West.
Office sought: Commissioner.
Age: 60.
Address: 11110 Statesville Blvd., Cleveland.
Phone number: 704-6356-1600.
Occupation: Meter tester at Hersey Meters.
Education: West Rowan High School graduate, United State Military Academy at West Point graduate.
Previous elected office: None.
Community involvement: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Lions Club.
Family: Wife, Tessie. Two step-children.
Name: John Steele.
Office sought: Mayor
Age: 68.
Address: 204 Maple St.
Phone number: 704-278-3855.
Occupation: Private social work consultant, retired U.S. Air Force.
Education: West Rowan High School graduate, bachelor’s in sociology from Maryville College, master’s in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University, doctorate of social work from the National Catholic University of America.
Previous elected office: Currently serving first term as mayor, eight terms as a town commissioner.
Community involvement: Third Creek Presbyterian Church.
Family: Joy Steele, wife; three sons, John, Walter, Alan; two daughters Lydia Richmond and Jolaine Blackenship.
 
 
 

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide