4 candidates vie for 3 seats in Gamewell

·4 min read

Oct. 11—GAMEWELL — Three town council seats are up for Gamewell in the upcoming election. Incumbents John Sterling Hall Junior, Wilford Beane, and Michael Kent are all faced by newcomer Crystal Brooks.

Hall Jr., a lifelong resident of Gamewell, said, "When asked why I was running for council it occurred to me that it is not about what I want, it is about what the residents of Gamewell want. The council is elected to do the people's will, not their own," he said.

Hall says he was a resident of the town when Gamewell was incorporated just 40 years ago.

"We did so because we wanted to remain a small residential community," Hall said. "Over the years our council has done a great job of making Gamewell a place where people want to live."

Hall said he's been around to see the fact that times change, and "that people's wants and needs have changed over the years as well."

Hall added that he would like to see more people get involved at council meetings and let the council know what they see for the future of Gamewell.

"Some things take months of planning while others take years. We need an agenda for planning Gamewell's future," he said. "Residents need to come to the meetings to stay abreast of what is going on in Gamewell."

He added, "decisions being made by five council members affect us all, our family and our property. One hour per month is not a lot of time for such an important meeting that affects our daily lives."

Hall said he believes any request by the residents should be considered and done, and if it's not possible, a full explanation should be given,"not just yes or no, the end."

"I would appreciate your vote, but more importantly I think I speak for the entire council when I ask for your input and support at the town meeting," Hall continued.

Wilford Beane is another lifelong resident of Gamewell running for reelection.

"I'm committed to our school system and to our Gamewell community as well," he said. "I am a fiscal conservative when it comes to governing and concerned for each citizen's individual rights."

Beane says he welcomes citizen input and participation.

"Our citizens advisory council has been very helpful in giving the council feedback and suggestions from the community," he added.

He says Gamewell was founded 40 years ago and Gamewell citizens fought annexation so they could determine their own destiny and avoid more taxation.

"I want to keep it that way," he said.

"Not only do we not have a town property tax, but we have been able to provide our citizens free garbage pickup, a new Town Hall, one of the best parks around, thousands of dollars to our three schools, and support for our civic clubs for their involvement in helping our youth activities and the elderly."

Beane says the council is currently turning the old town hall into a history museum for Gamewell and are starting to build two more smaller picnic shelters at the parks. He added that next year the council plans a stream restoration project at the park to fix flooding and open the visibility and safety for walkers at our park, and to add a walking bridge across the stream to connect the parking at the Town Hall and the park.

"It will also serve as part of the Overmountain Victory Trail system connecting our town and park to Lenoir at some future date," Beane said. "These park improvements will be done with available grants. We have just recently helped with two street improvements and we also have two possible sewer additions in the planning stages."

"Last but not least we will have a new restaurant soon," he added.

Beane said the council has been able to do these things because of the council's frugal spending and debt avoidance.

"I would appreciate the support of our citizens with their vote so we can continue to improve our town and avoid any further taxation," he said.

Mikeal "Mike" Kent, said he's enjoyed serving the citizens of Gamewell for the past eight years and that "it would be an honor to serve four more years if reelected."

Kent touched on improvements to the town park, plans of building two more picnic shelters, JD' S Barbeque opening this year, and the old town hall being worked on for the history museum in a list of things he believes his position as council member has contributed to.

"I will continue to support our three schools and the Optimist Club and Ruritan Club," he said.

Newcomer Crystal Brooks, says she believes serving as a councilwoman will allow her to become more involved in her community.

"I grew up in Caldwell County, and have lived in Gamewell since 2003," she said. "I have an open mind and a listening ear and am very interested in helping the community"

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721

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