Six compete for Kannapolis seats

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 22, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS — Three seats on the Kannapolis City Council will be in contention in this November’s election.
Incumbents Tom Kincaid, Roger Haas and Kenneth Geathers are seeking re-election.
They are being challenged by three relative newcomers to politics: Michael Mishkin, Amos McClorey and Ryan Dayvault.
Dayvault, 25, has never held elected office but has served on a number of Kannapolis boards and commissions.
He works at the UNC-Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute, based on the N.C. Research Campus.
“My being employed by UNC on the campus for the past three years is huge in helping bridge old Kannapolis and the new Kannapolis without Cannon Mills,” Dayvault said.
“I understand the differing viewpoints from older and newer citizens … everyone wants a voice on council and everyone wants a functional business environment,” Dayvault said.
To bring jobs to Kannapolis, Dayvault said he would work to cut through red tape and actively recruit across all types of businesses.
“We must be proactive in working with existing businesses to retain them in Kannapolis,” Dayvault said.
“The businesses in our community should be applauded for weathering so many storms.”
He also would like to see more done to revitalize the center city region in Kannapolis.
“Just like the human body, without a strong heart, the body eventually dies, and we cannot allow our city to die,” Dayvault said.
Geathers has been a member since the city was incorporated in 1984.
He also said job creation is vital.
“Kannapolis has a history of being the largest employer in the region, with Cannon Mills and Pillowtex. We have the same opportunity with the Research Campus,” Geathers said.
“I am going to be instrumental on the board to be business-friendly, to do whatever it takes to get industry and jobs to kannapolis.”
That includes streamlining regulations so, Geathers said, Kannapolis can become a “one-stop shop” for prospective businesses.
Geathers said that Kannapolis must also retain its identity, without trying to be like Concord or Charlotte.
“One of the things about Kannapolis is that we have a small-town atmosphere. … Once industries start coming in, we need to make sure we keep that,” Geathers said.
Haas said it would be important to continue making budget decisions based on the economic realities, especially with an upcoming property revaluation.
He said the city’s frugal approach to government had helped Kannapolis remain strong even in a recession.
Haas said the N.C. Research Campus will be vital to the city’s continued success.
“Not only can it be a revenue generator but it can serve as a job creator,” Haas said.
“It can also spur development that is not located on the campus but has a connection to what occurs there.”
Haas also said that downtown revitalization is also important as well as neighborhood redevelopment.
“An important link to a city’s success is a sense of belonging,” Haas said.
He said the city is working to revitalize some of Kannapolis’ older, traditional neighborhoods.
Kincaid was appointed in 2010 to serve out the remainder of the late Richard Anderson’s term.
He said that his 18-plus years of business management experience, as well as his civic involvement, qualify him to lead Kannapolis into the future.
Kincaid said the council needs to develop partnerships to overcome unemployment, preserve education and promote economic development.
“It is the obligation of the city council to work with the community to build bridges between the citizens, downtown merchants and the Research Campus,” Kincaid said.
Kincaid said it was vital to maintain not only a strong quality of life through parks and recreation and community activities, but by preserving a strong police department and fire department.
“I would like to develop a strong, comprehensive marketing strategy by working with the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, and by forming public/private partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities Kannapolis has to offer,” Kincaid said.
McClorey, current president of the Cabarrus County NAACP, said his years of leadership and numerous positions of responsibility make him the most qualified for a seat on the council.
He also said that a mix of different backgrounds would help create dialogue.
“If the climate in the Kannapolis City Council is cold today, voters must change people, and create a new climate for our city if it is to grow,” McClorey said.
He said that Kannapolis must seek manufacturing, retail and service jobs in addition to those provided by the Research Campus.
While McClorey said he would welcome ideas citizens had for improving the city’s quality of services, he would be steadfastly opposed to any increase in taxes.
As for the Research Campus: “Local citizens are still waiting for the big jobs winfall that came with all the hype,” McClorey said. “In three years we may be still waiting.”
He said that within that three-year period he would like to see Kannapolis construct a new police station and a new government center, and help businesses return to downtown.
Mishkin, member of tea party organization We The People, said he would focus on easing Kannapolis residents’ burdens and building trust as a representative of the people.
“I intend to scrutinize spending and focus on bringing small businesses to our city,” Mishkin said.
He has not held public office, but was one of the applicants considered for Anderson’s council seat.
Mishkin said that he would address the city’s economic situation, including recent rises in water rates and property taxes that he says are too high.
“In a economic hardship, we the people need government burdens removed,” Mishkin said.
“If that means cutting some public services here and there, so be it.”
He said he hopes the Research Campus “will attract gifted people to come and live in our city and promote economic growth as well as improving the housing market.”
And Mishkin said he would work to attract small businesses by providing incentives and making it easier for those businesses to flourish.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.
Age: 25
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science with public administration concentration, Catawba College, 2008; 2004 graduate, A.L.?Brown High.
Occupation: Business Services, Facilities and Special?Projects Coordinator, UNC-Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute, Kannapolis.
Government Experience: Member, Board of Adjustment, City of Kannapolis, 2009-present; member, Downtown Kannapolis Center City Steering Committee, 2011-present; member, City of Kannapolis Centennial Executive Committee, 2005-06.
Civic Involvement: Current member,?Kannapolis Rotary Club; member, Board of Directors, Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, 2010-present; member, Board of Directors, American Red Cross of Cabarrus County, 2006-present; vice president of senior class of 2008, Catawba College; numerous other community memberships.
Tom Kincaid
Age: 59
Education: Certified and licensed in Long-Term?Care?Administration, UNC-Chapel?Hill; studied cardiopulmonary medicine at Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
Occupation: Owner and administrator, Caremoor Retirement Center,?Kannapolis.
Government Experience: Appointed in 2010 to serve the remainder of the late Richard Anderson’s term on the Kannapolis City?Council.
Civic Involvement:  Member, Paul?Harris Fellow and past president, Kannapolis Rotary Club; service on executive board of the ARC of Cabarrus County; service on executive board of the North Carolina Long Term Care Association; elder at Bethpage Presbyterian Church, Kannapolis.
Kenneth?Geathers (Incumbent)
Age: 67
Education: B.S. in Mathematics, Livingstone College
Occupation: Addiction therapist at Hefner VA Medical Center, Salisbury; former human resources manager, Pillowtex (formerly Cannon?Mills).
Government Experience: Six terms as member of the Kannapolis City Council (1984-present).
Civic involvement: Paul?Harris Fellow and past president, Kannapolis Rotary Club; past board chairman, Cabarrus County American Red Cross; member of the board of trustees, First Baptist Church, Kannapolis and past board treasurer.
Amos McClorey
Age: 61
Education:  Bachelor of Arts, North Carolina Central University, Durham; Rowan-Cabarrus?Community College; George Meany School of Labor, Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Retired Senior Production Technician, Philip Morris USA Cabarrus Facility; former president, BCTGM Union chapter.
Civic Involvement: Current president, Cabarrus County NAACP; current president, Logan/Shankletown School Association; member of the Board of Trustees, First Christian Church; member or chair of numerous other community boards. 
Roger Haas
Age: 62
Education: Graduate of Gardner Webb University with additional management studies at Cornell University.
Occupation:  Owner and Founder of AIM Tours, Kannapolis.
Government Experience:  First elected to Kannapolis City Council in 1997.
Civic Involvement: Past chairman, Cabarrus County Planning and Zoning Commission; past Chairman, Cabarrus County Tourism Authority; member, Concord-Kannapolis Transit Commission; Paul Harris Fellow, Kannapolis Rotary Club; Member, First Baptist Church, Kannapolis.
Age:  36
Education: Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts (college not specified)
Occupation: Implementation Technician at Medflow.
Civic Involvement: Member of We The People.