Letters to the editor – Thursday (5-1-14)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2014

Unaffiliated voters should stick with GOP
To the Democrats who chose to re-register as unaffiliated, thus allowing themselves to vote in the Republican primary, with the purpose of interfering with Republican privilege and right to choose the candidates of their choice (that is what this is about, isn’t it?):
You would have spent time and energy more wisely working to prevent Harry Reid and family from giving Nevada to China. This is not a joke! Take Harry and family’s greed seriously.
Hopefully in November, you will vote with us again, helping us move one senator closer to removing Harry from this position of too much power for a man of such low integrity.
Then let’s all work together for term limits of those representing us in Washington before they stay so long they forget why they are there.
— Donna Kesler

No thumbing noses
Judy Klusman, Jim Greene and Johnny Love — I support these three folks in the Rowan County Republican primary for County Commission on May 6. They seem to have the best intentions and ideas for all of Rowan County.
Surely, Rowan County has had enough of this type of non-leadership, i.e., buy an old dilapidated mall for more than the asking price and no plan for its use; de-annex that great economic engine of the county, i.e., the Rowan County Airport; and “thumb their noses” at the federal courts re: sectarian prayer, allowing Rowan County to get national, negative media attention?
“No cup of Joe and no Side of Edds” and “Once again, Edds is talking out of both Sides of his mouth.”
— John T. Blair

Us vs. them hurts us
It has been suggested that there is a conspiracy going on with regard to the County Commission primary. Well, it is true! There is a conspiracy to elect sensible, responsible people to the commission.
We need commissioners who will be focused on promoting growth, improving education, supporting business and efficiently managing the county. We need commissioners who exhibit servant leadership, more concerned with the well-being of the county than their own personal agendas, egos and culture wars.
We need commissioners who are responsive to citizens’ concerns and criticism, and who understand that governance is not a game that has to have losers and winners.
The current management has failed on all of these counts and must be replaced for the sake of accountability.
Jim Greene is a businessman and farmer with deep roots in this county and a long history of community service and working for economic development. His humor and calm demeanor will be an asset to the commission.
Johnny Love has committed to repairing relationships between the county and city and the school board. His experience managing the fair, and with the sheriff’s department, should stand him in good stead.
Judy Klusman brings legislative experience and a different perspective to a commission sorely in need of perspective. Her pastoral work in social and community ministry will help her better represent those citizens at risk and in need and bring healing to our fair county.
Greene, Klusman and Love are the strong candidates because they can obtain trans-partisan support. It is past time to dispense with the us-versus-them attitude that is damaging our community and our nation. As long as the county commission stays within its proper purview, there are no partisan issues to be had here, only opportunities to work together for the benefit of all.
— Luke Hamaty
China Grove
Focus: education, jobs
I encourage every registered voter to vote by May 6. When you vote in this critically important election, consider the comments below.
Under Jim Sides’ leadership, Rowan County has become the “hole in the donut,” with higher unemployment, lower educational attainment and higher poverty than counties surrounding us. Under Sides’ supposed conservative leadership, we purchased a dilapidated mall for $1,000,000 more than the last sale and lost $85,000 in tax revenue. Further, the former New York mall owner received as much as $10,000,000 in tax breaks through the contract — while Sides has voted against tax breaks for new industry. Sides’ “leadership” has taxpayers exposed to extraordinary expenditures as yet unknown for repairs to roofing, air conditioning and parking lots.
Under Sides’ leadership, we have unnecessarily delayed the effort to consolidate the administrative functions of our school system, thus costing us money while being SIDE-tracked in petty issues.
When corporate executives appeared before the commissioners regarding incentives to bring jobs to Rowan, they were met with insults by our commission chair.
A former colleague of mine had the saying “If you continue doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll continue to get what you got!” If we don’t like the status in our county (unemployment, poverty, school performance), we have to change direction. We need commissioners who can listen, who don’t bicker, don’t bully and can work cooperatively with other people so we can move our entire county forward.
There are two essentials for Rowan that every citizen knows and understands:
1. Educational attainment for our children
2. Jobs for our citizens
Jim has been on the wrong SIDE of both issues.
I am a retired business leader with several organizations in Rowan County (Celanese and Draftex) and a conservative Republican and have decided that we can’t afford Sides.
Let’s make change happen. Vote.
— Carl Repsher

Fiscally reckless
Jim Sides may be socially conservative but when it comes to spending our hard-earned tax dollars, he is downright fiscally reckless.
How can someone claim to be watching out for the taxpayer dollars when they rush out to pay $3.5 million for a dilapidated mall (with no one else bidding or even trying to negotiate a fair price) with no funding for it or a master plan for what to do with it?
Who in their right mind does something so irresponsible? The mall is just one example.
Factor in $400,000 he spent trying to get a broadcast tower erected in Mount Ulla, $20,000 spent to re-key the administration building (so he can have access to the Board of Elections office) and who knows how much on the public prayer issue.
Mr. Sides is adamant about not bending to special interest groups, but most of what he does is in his own interest with no regard to the benefit of the county. Remember this when our taxes go up.
We can’t afford Jim Sides anymore. Let’s vote him out and vote in some intelligent, moderate, level-headed commissioners.
And let’s hope we never have to look at that darn carnival van again.
— April Sherrill
Mt. Ulla

Proven track record
Greg Edds is the only candidate running in the Republican primary who has the experience and proven track record of a community servant to qualify him for a position of county leadership.
Greg has been on an impressive number of community leadership boards. He approaches each board as a community servant seeking answers for the greatest benefit for all parties involved. Some of the boards on which he has volunteered his time include Planning Board, Economic Development, Airport Board (chair), Chamber of Commerce (chair), Chamber sub-committees, Civitan fundraising (chair), United Way, Rowan Republican (chair) – and many others.
Each of these volunteer positions came with responsibilities that required decision making skills. Being elected chairman of any board is evidence that Greg served well enough to be nominated by his fellow board members.
Serving in each of these roles also gave Greg the building blocks of insight that make him the most qualified candidate. If you combine all of the experience of the other candidates, their collective knowledge would fall short of Greg’s own personal insight and investment into Rowan County.
I also know Greg personally. He and I have been in the same small-group Bible study for several years. This small group gives us the opportunity to delve into what being a follower of Jesus Christ truly means. From these discussions, I know Greg’s heart and his servant-based passion to serve others.
Greg and I haven’t agreed on all things political, but he has always been willing to hear my thoughts. Even more, he seeks out my insight on topics where I have more background and knowledge. He then used those discussions to help form his final opinions. This is exactly what we need – someone who will listen and then make informed decisions.
We need positive leadership. We need Greg Edds.
—Pete Bogle
Two have integrity
I am writing on behalf of Jim Sides and Joe Coladarci, regarding the position of county commissioner.
Mr. Sides’ previous and current service on the Board of Commissioners tells me that he is able to see through subterfuge and act in the best interest of all the citizens of Rowan County. Mr. Coladarci appears to have this type of ability and integrity as well.
I voted for both these gentlemen and hope you will too.
— Marie Howell
Rowan County
We need a change
Rowan County needs a change. We need jobs and new businesses. The old way of governing is clearly not working. We cannot continue to keep our heads in the sand, oblivious of what goes on around us. We have the ability to start a change by voting in these county commissioners: Judy Klusman Johnny Love and Jim Greene.
Please get out and vote in commissioners who will care. The old regime is holding our wonderful county back. We need new ideas, new solutions and open minds —not the closed ones of our current commissioners.
— Richard Morgan
Three for all
On May 6 the citizens of Rowan County have the opportunity to take the first step to leave behind the failed practice of divisive “gotcha politics.” Two factions are battling for control of this county. Each claims to represent the best interest of the county. Neither can explain away their involvement in the steady economic decline this county and its cities have experienced over more than 20 years.
It’s time that the voters of Rowan County wipe the slate clean by electing candidates to the County Commission who will invest their energies in moving this county forward, stopping the blame game and find ways to work with other elected officials.
I believe that Greg Edds, Jim Greene and Brandon Cupp are the three candidates that can accomplish this. I urge all voters to get behind these three, so that we will have a commission who will represent the whole county and not any one faction.
— R. Daryl Cox
The word “government” was left out of Greg Shields’ letter Wednesday. It should have read: “The mall is 600,000 square feet in size and what are they going to fill it with? Bureaucrats — 600,000 square feet of big government.”

Endorsement letters
The deadline for letters of endorsement has passed. We publish all that we receive if we can confirm the identity of the writer. If you submitted a letter before 5 p.m. Wednesday that has not appeared, please call Editor Elizabeth Cook at 704-797-4244.
Thank you for writing so many letters full of commitment and passion about your candidates.