Linker, former mayor, says he could ‘hit the ground running’ on GQ board

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

GRANITE QUARRY — In his bid for a seat on the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen, former Mayor John Linker expresses concerns about employee turnover, lax code enforcement, dark streets, the town maintenance department, and deteriorating streets and sidewalks.

In addition, Linker said, “it appears to be the entire focus of the board is how quickly can we grow in the industrial area off Heilig and Faith roads at the expense of the rest of the town.”

“The downtown area desperately needs a facelift,” he said.

Linker previously served as an alderman and mayor — most of his years were as mayor — from 1985 to 1996. Even though it’s been more than 20 years, Linker said, “I’ve never lost my interest and desire to be involved in the town’s management.”

“I have considered a run for the board for several elections, but my job required extensive travel, which left little time for town involvement.”

Linker retired from McCormick and Co. in 2014. He is current chairman of the Granite Quarry Zoning Board of Adjustment and a past member and chairman of the Rowan County Planning Board. He also chaired the initial Rowan County Land Use Planning Commission.

“I feel like my involvement and experience with both the county and the town of Granite Quarry will allow me to hit the ground running,” Linker said. He has been attending recent town board meetings and said he thinks he has some knowledge of current issues.

Linker, 68, is a 1967 graduate of East Rowan High School, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Catawba College in 1971. He is a past member and president of the Milford Hills Lions Club.

Linker said the town seems to have experienced excessive employee turnover in all departments, but especially front-office positions. He called for a more effective street lighting policy, “as there seems to be lots of dark streets.”

Linker said sidewalks and streets need attention, and “code enforcement seems lax, especially in addressing the junked/abandoned vehicle ordinance.”

“It appears to me that the maintenance department needs additional personnel or focus, as I don’t think the town is as clean as it needs to be,” Linker said. “As the town adds more park and recreation spaces, it also needs to address the required personnel and necessary funds to maintain (them) properly.”

Linker and his wife, Linda, live at 402 Elm St. They have a daughter and two grandchildren.

Linker is seeking one of two available four-year seats on the Board of Aldermen. He joins a field of candidates including incumbents Mike Brinkley and Arin Wilhelm and challengers Kim Cress, Wes Rhinier and Doug Shelton.

Incumbent Bill Feather is the only person on the ballot for mayor.

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