Town election Early Voting is underway
One-Stop Early Voting began October 16 in the Taylorsville 2019 Municipal Election, and continues 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through November 1. A Saturday Early Voting date of October 26, is also planned from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Early Voting takes place at the Alexander County Board of Elections building, 370 1st Ave. SW in Taylorsville. Election Day voting will be Tuesday, November 5, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Alexander County Senior Center on Liledoun Road, across from Alexander Central High School.
Only residents of the Town of Taylorsville are qualified to vote in this election. Voters must have resided in the city limits on or before October 6, 2019 (30 days prior to election date).
Holleman and Reynolds in bid for Mayor
Local resident Dawn Reynolds, 52, is running as a challenger to incumbent Mayor George Holleman, 74, who is running for re-election.
Ten in the race for four Town Board seats
Candidates filed for the Town Board of Commissioners seats are incumbents Ronnie Robinette, 69, Kenny Poole, 69, and Edd Elliott, 74, as well as Kimberly Stewart Brown, 52, Glenn P. Deal, Jr., 70, Michael Fredieu, 36, Bob Bowen, 61, Jack Simms, 69, Justin A. Deal, 45, and Jason Durmire, 36.
Municipal Election candidates respond to Times’ Questionnaire
1. What is your vision for the Town of Taylorsville? What is your action plan to accomplish your vision?
George Holleman: My vision for Tayorsville is downtown development with business owners and developers so as to multiply the tax base and make an inviting place to gather and have events. The County is building a space for events and the Rotary Club will build a music venue so the Town, County, And Hiddenite Center could sponsor events each week. The Town needs shops and shoppers in order to keep people shopping Locally. We lose some of our tax rebate from the State by shopping in other Counties. We must think about the future and make our Town appealing to those who come from other counties to attend events and shop here. We cannot rest on past achievements to prepare for a bright future. My plan would be to talk to developers about our plans for the future; try to convince the developer to invest in Taylorsville. Also we need many more Grants to help the Town develop so we need the help of WPCOG. Finally, the County and Town could Cooperate on joint ventures . Together we could save taxpayers a lot of money.
Dawn Reynolds: My vision for Taylorsville is for it to be a town where our children want to stay, live, and raise their family because there are opportunities for them. I would like to see more family-friendly entertainment that isn’t based around ballfields alone. It would be nice to see a downtown where all the shops were open with more diverse retail businesses–ones that are pleasing to the eyes of locals and tourists — as well as open after 6 p.m. Shops that would make people want to stop and stay awhile, rather than drive through on their way to places with more options.
My action plan would be to really listen to the citizens and get their ideas as well as let them know what is being discussed. I will work closely with the new Town Board to make sure the thoughts and ideas of the community are being heard. We will work to create a very open live of communication with the county, in order to work together to make the Town a place everyone can be proud of.
Bob Bowen: My vision for the Town of Taylorsville is long-term sustainable growth. I would like to see our downtown areas become more vibrant and appealing to new businesses and our existing ones get any required facelifts to increase their business and attract more customers and tourists to our great town. I would like to see and hopefully facilitate the needed equipment and upgrades to existing equipment of our great police force and rescue squads. I would also like to begin talks with restaurant and hotel chains in an attempt to lure new businesses to the foothills of the Appalachians.
My action plan is two-fold: (1) reach out to our current business owners and determine their wants and needs for their continued growth. (2) I have already been researching possible grants that will help provide the needed funding for such an undertaking. Our business owners have enough on them to worry about additional funds.
Kimberly S. Brown: My vision for the Town of Taylorsville includes a walkable downtown area that includes both business and industry as well as residential areas. I also would like to see some beautification and restoration of the Main Street area. I believe that the only way to increase town revenues without increasing taxes is to increase the amount of tax payers within the town limits. Therefore, if elected, I would work with other board members to recruit business and industry to our town. I would also work to build partnerships with members of local civic groups and organizations to help with the beautification of our downtown areas. I would also try to build and maintain a working relationship with our county board of commissioners, as they own a large amount of property inside the town limits.
Glenn P. Deal, Jr.: I want Taylorsville to be forward-thinking and look for ways to expand shopping and our economy. I would work closely with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) to secure grants and funding for improvements like more sidewalks.
Justin A. Deal: My vision for the Town of Taylorsville is to see us to continue to prosper. I would love to see our main street revitalized and brought back to life so we could attract retail and development to improve our economy and what we have to offer our citizens. It is important to offer something to our citizens to encourage home town growth and development. Let’s give them the retail stores, the ice-cream shops, the specialty goods that these other towns are offering that they so frequently visit. By revitalizing, we can keep our people close to home. My plan to help make this possible is to work with other members of the council and town affiliates to reach out to those investment groups that specialize in bringing life back to historical downtown streets. We would embrace our history and definitely include in our plan.
Jason Durmire: My vision for the Town of Taylorsville is to grow our amenities while not losing our small town atmosphere or charm. We can accomplish this by expanding our tax base, expanding our water and sewer capabilities, be inviting to small businesses, and continue to improve our dedicated law enforcement. By expanding our tax base along with water and sewer, we can increase our tax revenue without increasing tax rates on the citizens of Taylorsville. I commend the work of the mayor, current board members, and town manager for their focus on bringing in businesses. We can continue to put emphasis on creating the environment to continue growth and expand. Lastly, we have devoted law enforcement who could be paid thousands more in a larger department, but chose to remain here. I would like to look at retaining methods, equipment, and training of other small towns to keep the best officers.
Edd Elliott: To see our Town grow, with people and business. To work with business and property owners to get more people into town to shop. Continue to try to get more businesses and more housing into town. Serve the Town of Taylorsville, to the best of my abilities.
Michael Fredieu: My vision for Taylorsville is to bring more business to downtown, increase communication within our community and surrounding areas, and update the city’s management practices. There is a “Downtown Revival” that is sweeping our nation and Taylorsville is behind the curve. We need to provide local incentives that will attract businesses to our city and encourage our community to support current and future bussinesses. Communication is mandatory to success as a community. In today’s world, we are part of a global community and our communication and cooperation at home and in our surrounding area must match the world in which we live. I would use my position in city council to ensure Taylorsville is working with all levels of government; success starts at home and is maintained by support from outside organizations. Last, our city needs to evolve. While this does mean that change needs to happen, it doesn’t mean we change who we are or what we are about as a community. Updating how we do business doesn’t change the business we are in. We need outside businesses and prospective citizens to see we are running swiftly alongside much larger cities and taking advantage of modern management practices while maintaining the rural feel that we currently enjoy. My goal is to have other cities come to us asking, “How did you do that, and how can we be like you?”
Kenny Poole: I would like to attract more businesses. I would like to keep the small hometown feeling that has developed over the years. I want to see more events scheduled at Matheson Park and to continue the events like the Apple Blossom and Apple Festival, and more if possible. We need to maintain a clean and neat downtown. We must continue to provide the services that our citizens have come to expect (police protection, clean water, sewer, garbage pickup, leaves, and brush pickup).
Ronnie Robinette: Having more businesses open in Town. Maintain the hometown feeling. Matheson Park having more events in it. People running, walking, visiting, buying, and eating both day and night in and around Town.
Have a clean and neat looking downtown. Maintain all services to same or better levels. Seek more housing, which will bring more people to Town. Have more events and concerts at Matheson Park.
Jack Simms: The vision I have for Taylorsville is to have a business environment so the residents of Town and Alexander County can buy local; that would keep tax dollars here at home, to have that business that attracts visitors from surrounding counties versus going outside our Town and County spending our money.
My action plan is simple. Don’t promise what can’t be delivered, listen, be open minded, serve all the people of Taylorsville, not a select few.
2. Why should the citizens of Taylorsville elect you to office?
George Holleman: Voters should re-elect me because of the long experience and my love for the Town. Also my connections with WPCOG and Raleigh has allowed me to know people who know how to help small towns. My health is good and I have a lot of energy to attend meetings and go the extra mile for our Town. I stay in touch with the people of my Town. I walk most places and seek new ideas.
Dawn Reynolds: The citizens of Taylorsville should elect me because I am a fresh new face with new ideas. Electing me would be electing someone who is forward-thinking, goal oriented, and optimistic; but who also loves the small town feel and will strive to keep that intact. I am not a politician, just someone who lives here and cares. I am very committed to serving this community and helping it become the place we all can enjoy and thrive.
Bob Bowen: The citizens of Taylorsville should consider me as a new face to town government, with a new perspective on the betterment of our town, without raising taxes. We all know the story, that in order to make money we have to spend money. Our residents are already taxed enough, so we are going to have to be more frugal with what we have or seek additional sources of revenue. And folks, that is my vision, to seek these additional sources.
Kimberly S. Brown: I feel that the citizens of Taylorsville should elect me as a Town Commissioner because I will work diligently to make your voices heard in council meetings. As a member of the Town Council, I feel that it would be my duty to listen to the people of our town and address the issues that they feel need to be addressed.
Glenn P. Deal, Jr.: I will work hard to lower our expenses, especially Town Council salaries. I will work to not raise taxes and hopefully lower our tax rate by decreasing compensation of our Town Council. Service on the Town Council should be an honor and not a job.
Justin A. Deal: The citizens of Taylorsville should elect me because I am one of them. I have lived in Taylorsville my entire life. I have devoted my entire adult life to community service of Taylorsville and Alexander County. Regardless of the public service I have remained firm in my roots, I have been with our local fire department for 27 years as a volunteer, I have been with our Emergency Medical Service for over 22 years, been with the sheriffs department for the past several years, served in our National Guard here in our county, I have never served with any other county other than Alexander in relation to public service. My dedication and devotion to the citizens of this town and county speaks for itself in why the people should vote for me, thank you and God bless.
Jason Durmire: I will do everything I can to keep integrity, passion for our town, and fairness. I feel the town of Taylorsville has done well the last few years but with hard work and the right vision, we can do even more. I feel I can bring that new perspective. I will work with the town manager, the mayor, and my other board members to develop our town into the best it can be.
Edd Elliott: I’m dependable: 8 ½ years of never missing or been late for a Town Hall meeting. Lived here in County and town all my life. Know how people think and their likes and dislikes. Continue to provide public safety, fire protection, trash service, keep our streets and town clean. Keep our taxes low.
Michael Fredieu: The citizens of Taylorsville should vote for me because I have the desire and ability to lead this town into the coming decades. I am fair minded and have an innate ability to see things from all perspectives, not just my own. I have a background in leadership and have been fortunate enough to live in many parts of the world; I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. I can bring my diverse experience to Taylorsville and help our city stand out amongst its peers. As I have always stated, from the moment I told my wife I wanted to run for city council, I just want to be of service. If the citizens of Taylorsville will allow me, I’d like to be of service to them. To Katye, Landon and Olivia, I love you!
Kenny Poole: I have worked to secure grants to promote and establish businesses in town, such as the new urgent care. I will continue to encourage our citizens to shop local. I am a lifelong resident of the town of Taylorsville, having taught school for 36 years in the Alexander County Schools system. I am proud that we have maintained a low tax rate for the residents of the town. I will continue to see that your tax dollars are spent wisely and fairly.
Ronnie Robinette: 1. Experience. 2. Life long resident. 3. Veteran U.S. Marines. 4. Will work to bring more businesses to town. 5. Continue to keep tax rate low (only had one tax increase in 43 years). 6. Continue to get grants to assist Taylorsville (obtained over $13 million so far). 7. Promote business in town (Buy Local).
Jack Simms: I want to serve the Town of Taylorsville, not because someone asked me to, not because I have a special interest agenda. This is my home town, I want to be a part of the dialog between the Town of Taylorsville and Alexander County, that’s why I am asking for your vote on November 5, 2019.
Education: M.A. Appalachian State University, 1976.
Occupation: Mayor, Town of Taylorsville.
Affiliations: Western Piedmont Council of Governments Executive Committee WPCOG. Member, NC Mayors Association, Taylorsville Business Association. Taylorsville Presbyterian Church, former Taylorsville Fire Dept., Lifelong resident of Taylorsville.
Family: Daughter, Natalie Millsaps, Grandsons Chase and Carson. Son, Matthew Holleman.
Experience: Town Manager, Town Board, Mayor for 10 years.
Awards/achievements: Elected Chairman of WPCOG.
Education: Associates Degree in Criminal Justice Tech.
Occupation: Court/victim advocate for domestic violence victims, membership services at YMCA, seasonal tax preparer at Jackson Hewitt.
Family: Children: Cheyenne, Summer, Chayton, Brogan, and Zarya Chumley.
Experience: On a few local non-profit boards — ran a business for several years.
Awards/achievements: Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary Club.
Education: Associate in Graphic Arts from Chowan College – 1978. Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Concentration in Management from East Carolina University – 1982.
Occupation: Worked for the N. C. Dept. of Revenue for 8 years as Revenue Officer. Worked for two different CPAs, one in Greenville, NC, and one in Morehead City, NC. Worked for the Employment Security Commission as a Field Tax Auditor in Charlotte, NC. Worked as an Independent Contractor for Fial & Associates performing Post audit recovery. Worked for the Profit Recovery Group as Office Manager over the Food Lion post audit recoveries.
Affiliations: I am a member of First United Methodist Church in Taylorsville & a member of the Methodist Men. President and Chairman of the Board – Robin’s Run Foundation, Inc. – Non-Profit 501(c)(3).
Family: I am a widower, my wife was Robin Rockett Bowen whom was killed while on an early morning run with the Apple City Road Crew on December 24, 2010. We have three children: Corey A. Bowen, and wife Brooke, who reside at my residence with their son, Levi Allen; Thomas R. Bowen – 2nd year student at East Carolina University; Savanna M. Bowen – Senior at Alexander Central High School.
Experience: My experience is vast with my many years in the auditing field and dealing with many different businesses. I feel that through this experience I should be able to successfully handle the title of Town Commissioner. If elected, this will be my first foray into political realm.
Awards/achievements: None listed.
KIMBERLY S. BROWN
Education: West Iredell high School, 1984; Appalachian State University, 1988, BS Biology/Naturalist; Appalachian State University, 1989, BS Biology/Secondary Education; East Carolina University, 2009, MAEd Science Education.
Occupation: Retired School Teacher.
Affiliations: Member of First United Methodist Church.
Family: James Scott Brown, husband, employed by Decostar Industries, Inc. in Carrollton, GA. Mattie Rae Brown, daughter, senior, attends King University and is majoring in Athletic Training. She is also a member of their Acrobatics and Tumbling Team and serves as captain. Stewart Scott Brown, son, sophomore, attends the University of Iowa and is majoring in civil Engineering. He is a member of their Men’s Gymnastics team. He earned second team All Big 10 honors, Big 10 Freshman of the Week once, and received All American honors at the NCAA Championships.
Experience: Currently I am retired after teaching at Alexander Central High School for 30 years. While teaching at ACHS I coached volleyball, basketball, softball, and cheerleading at different times throughout my career. I served as the yearbook sponsor for 13 years and as the Student Council adviser for 27 years. During which time I served on numerous North Carolina Association of Student Council state and district boards. Serving as the adviser to numerous state officers many of which were positions that required hosting state conventions at ACHS. These experiences required that I work with many businesses and community groups. Both my student council and yearbook experiences required that I work with restricted budgets to provide the best possible product for a large group of people. My political experience is limited to a campaign for mayor in 2009 and an appointment the town’s ABC board in 2010. I currently represent the Town of Taylorsville on the Catawba County ABC board, as the boards were merged years ago.
Awards/achievements: In 2018 I was named as the North Carolina Warren E. Shull Adviser of the Year. From there I was selected as the Warren E. Shull Regional Winner and went on to compete for the National Adviser of the Year.
GLENN P. DEAL, JR.
Education: Taylorsville High School, 1967; UNC-Chapel Hill, 1971, Business Administration.
Occupation: Insurance and investment representative.
Affiliations: Reformation Lutheran Church, Taylorsville Rotary Club past president, Piedmont Council–Boy Scouts of America, National Assoc. of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
Family: Wife, Amy; six children: 3 live in Taylorsville; 1 grandson.
Experience: Served on Rotary and Boy Scout Board of Directors, 30 years with Thrivent Financial, Certified Professional Business Consultant (CPBC). Active voter for 52 years. Led Alexander County Chamber of Commerce Development Council for five years.
Awards/achievements: Eagle Scout; Boy Scout Silver Beaver Award; NAIFA Quality Award; CLU, ChFC, RICP from the American College.
JUSTIN A. DEAL
Education: High School graduate from Alexander Central High School; CVCC – studied for my certification and state qualification as an EMT-basic; Wilkes Community College- studied for my certification and state qualification as an EMT-Intermediate; Caldwell Community College- studied for my certification and state qualification as an EMT-Paramedic; CVCC – currently enrolled in degree program for Fire Technologies and Emergency Management.
Occupation: I am currently and most recently employed by the Alexander County Schools system as the new Public Safety Instructor. I also teach Core and Sustainable Construction and Carpentry 1. I was hired to start up the Public Safety 1 program and to help prepare for our upcoming Fire Academy offering next school year.
Affiliations: I have been involved in emergency services in Alexander county for the past 27 years. I have volunteered with the Taylorsville-Central Alexander Fire Department since 1990 when I started in their junior fire department. Since then, I have trained and moved through the ranks, holding the position of every officer in our department with the most recent being that of Assistant Chief. I have worked on my training and qualifications to try and better myself and our fire department through long hours of education and training. In relation to all this, I have achieved a lot of certifications, one of which is that of a qualified fire instructor and educator, which was a key component in my present employment. I also am a state certified EMT-Paramedic and have been a part of Alexander County EMS since 1995 when I started out as an EMT-basic. I worked my way through lots of training and education to achieve my certification as an EMT-Paramedic. Due to devoted time and education with Alexander County EMS, I worked my way through the ranks there also, up to the level of Lieutenant. I have been with the Alexander County Sheriff’s department for the past several years as a tactical medical operator with the Special Response Team. I also served in our armed forces and was attached to our National Guard unit here in Taylorsville as a part of the 505th Battalion Engineers. I am a member of Millersville Baptist Church, chair of our building and grounds committee, vice chair of our Baptist Men’s group, in which we are actively involved in helping our communities and members of our church. I taught Sunday School for several years and have helped with many of our outreach ministries. I also own and operate my own business in Taylorsville as a Licensed General Contractor. I have been a successful business owner for the past 18 years.
Family: I am married to my beautiful wife and life long companion, Carla Deal, we have three beautiful children, Justin, Jason, and Jaycey, and one daughter-in-law, Teri Vano.
Experience: By reading my affiliations, you will see I have been a dedicated public servant to Taylorsville and Alexander County the majority of my life. I have devoted countless hours, days, months years to protecting and serving the citizens of Alexander County and the Town of Taylorsville. With that being said I would say my experience is an un-wavered dedication to the people and their well being of Alexander County.
Awards/achievements: I hold multiple certifications and credentials through the emergency services, more than I can list. The awards that I have achieved over the years that stand out to me the most, are the people whose lives I have impacted in my career, knowing that something I was able to do made a difference.
Education: ACHS 2001, Catawba Valley Community College: Associates of Science 2004, Applacahian State University 2006 Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration on Management.
Occupation: Licensed Health Insurance Agent with a focus on helping Medicare beneficiaries .
Affiliations: Rotary Member, Attending East Taylorsville Baptist Church, Multiple Honor Societies.
Family: Father, Stan Durmire, Mother, Carolyn Durmire.
Experience: 10 years of serving the Town of Taylorsville in various roles. Currently a business owner in the town.
Awards/achievements: Graduated with Honors from ACHS, CVCC, and ASU.
EDD K. ELLIOTT, JR.
Education: Taylorsville High School (1964), Univ. Texas Tech – Industrial Printing.
Affiliations: East Taylorsville Baptist Church for 70 years. Avid bowler. Town Commissioner.
Family: Two nephews, Chris and John Elliott, of Hickory.
Experience: Worked at Gulf States Paper 38 years, last 20 years as Supervisor. 8 ½ years on Town Council.
Awards/achievements: Lived to retirement. President of two bowling leagues. 8 ½ years of never missing or being late for Town Hall meetings.
Education: Bolton HS, Alexandria, LA. Satellite Communications Technical Training, US Air Force. Airman Leadership School, US Air Force. AAS Electronic Systems, Community College of the Air Force. BS in Envrionmental Science, 2015 to present (incomplete).
Occupation: US Air Force 2001-2014, Warehouse Manager and Maintenance Supervisor for Hav-A-Cup Coffee and Quality Water, 2017-Present.
Affiliations: Water Life Church, Lenoir. Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Family: Katye (spouse), Landon (son), Olivia (daughter).
Experience: Staff Sergeant US Air Force: Manage and lead people in both peace and wartime environments and resource management of government equipment and finances. Setup/teardown, pack, transport, operate and maintain $2.4M mobile satellite system. Facility management of Airman housing ($7M in building assets), included inspection and maintenance coordination of building (structural, electrical, plumbing and HVAC). Civilian leadership in current position, manage workforce that handles equipment repair, warehousing, product/resource acquisitions for 33K square foot local facility plus two geographically separated locations.
Air Force Basic Training Honor Graduate. Air Force Airman Leader-ship School Honor Graduate. Tony L. Sturm Professionalism Award Nominee, Ramstain AB, Germany.
Education: Appalachian State University, 1972.
Occupation: Retired – 36 years as a teacher in Alexander County.
Family: Wife, Linda Poole; Daughter, Whitney Burroughs; grandson, Kurtis Burroughs.
Experience: 12 years on Town Council.
Awards/achievements: None listed.
Education: High school.
Occupation: Retired (Dept. of Correction) dog handler.
Affiliations: Baptist faith, Board member, Taylorsville Fire Dept.; Board member, EnergyUnited Water Corp.
Family: Married 50 years to wife, Annie; one son, Eddie (deceased).
Experience: 19 years total on Town Board.
Awards/achievements: None listed.
Education: High school, 1969.
Affiliations: Member Taylorsville Business Assoc., Board member of Carolina Land & Lakes RD&C, Christian, Alexander CERT Team.
Family: Wife, Patty; twin sons Timothy & Matthew Simms; daughter-in-law Deidra Watson Simms; grandchildren Kayla, 18, Kody, 14, Katen, 9.
Experience: Production Mgr. Pepsi-Cola; Operation Mgr. Coca-Cola; owner & operator of local textile screen printers; VP of Operation for Legend Gear & Transmissions. Chair, Alexander Republican Party 2nd term; two terms Vice Chair of Alexander Republican Party. In 2011, ran for Mayor of Taylorsville.
Awards/achievements: Past President of Taylorsville Rotary Club 1989-1990.
Find out even more about the candidates at this link, which has coverage of the Town Candidate Forum, sponsored by the Taylorsville Business Association.