“Walk away from arguments that lead to anger, from people who put you down, from anyone who doesn’t see your worth.”
I started this blog 15 months ago so the people of Hope Mills would have a source for truth. And despite the non-stop chants of ‘fake news’ I’ve never posted a single lie. I’ve shared hundreds of screen shots, minutes from meetings, videos, and emails to support every word I’ve said. And I hope, I’ve shared enough so that you know who sees your worth, and who simply sees you as a stepping stone to ‘power’.
Warner has served our community for eight years with grace and fortitude. At the end of her first term she realized the board could do more and accomplish far greater things if they were networked with the county. And she did just that. She’s spent the last six years networking. By representing Hope Mills on the Mayor’s Coalition, FAMPO and the dozens of committees she serves on, she ensures Hope Mills gets the attention, and funding it deserves.
But she doesn’t stop there. Warner networks with every church and school, girl scouts, boy scouts, veteran organizations, and the ladies power walking at 5AM in the park. She wants to know what they think…and what they want…because it’s their community and it’s them she serves.
Warner has turned a part time position into a full time calling. She’s more dedicated than any mayor we’ve ever known and we…the people of Hope Mills…have benefited wildly from that dedication. In the years to come, Hope Mills will see millions of dollars in additional revenue from the tax re-evaluation Warner fought for and helped to establish.
Edwards has also served Hope Mills for eight years. She’s often the quietest member of the board, preferring to listen intently to what’s being said and not prone to making hasty decisions. Edwards served as the director of The Hope Mills Sunshine Center for 16 years and represents Region Q on the Mid-Carolina Aging Advisory Council. She’s a staunch advocate for the seniors in our community and dedicates her free time to helping them nearly a decade after The Sunshine center closed its doors. They know they can count on her to drive them to appointments and to help them buy groceries. Her dedication to the senior community has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the Congressional Award of Honor in 2010.
Edwards is also a huge advocate for veterans. Her love for the military community stems from her early career as a civilian employee on Fort Bragg. For eight years Edwards has consistently voted in favor of veteran programs and even served as the Board liaison for the Veteran Affairs Committee. In 2018 she voted against her fellow board members and was in favor of negotiating a deal with the Lone Survivor Foundation.
Edwards is also an active member of the Kiwanis. She served as local chapter president twice, was the Kiwanian of the Year, and was awarded the Founders Honor Circle from Carolina’s District Kiwanis Foundation.
Dr. Kenjuana McCray –
Dr. McCray is perhaps the most educated candidate we’ve ever been fortunate enough to have in Hope Mills. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, a Masters in Sociology and a Bachelors in Political Science. That level of education makes her ideally suited for a position on this board. It’s not just the wealth of knowledge she brings to the table, but a comprehensive understanding of sourcing information and seeking answers to the systemic problems the board deals with.
Dr. McCray has also established a legacy of service to the community. She serves on our own Parks and Recreation Committee, the Festival Committee, Arts Council of Fayetteville, Second Harvest Food Bank Board, Pathways for prosperity, is a Girl Scout Troop Leader is is a founding member and Trustee for the Hope Mills Creative Arts Council.
McCray’s volunteer activities make her aware of the community’s needs and ideally positioned to source solutions for the community. From developing art projects to foster economic development to securing food for those in need, McCray has the kind of resources which would benefit this community immeasurably.
Marley is no stranger to the board. He served as a Commissioner from 2013-2017. Marley was part of the Board during the Walmart saga and he and I were very much at odds during that time. Which is why I wanted to make a point to endorse him here officially and publicly. We’ve talked at length about the issues surrounding the Walmart on Legion Road and both realize we were quick to make assumptions. We also realized most of our issues could have been solved with an open line of communication. He and the other board members were aware of just how much tax revenue the new store would bring and how it would offset our need to raise taxes. I never gave him an opportunity to discuss these issues. By the end of his second term Marley had found his voice and gotten comfortable with his public role. He worked with his fellow Commissioners to make some great things happen for our community.
Marley was part of the Board that dealt predominantly with the dam lawsuits. He was also part of the board that adopted the original Lake Park Plan that the current board abandoned. They worked closely with the Lake Advisory Committee and the engineers to create a viable plan for a bulkhead, a boardwalk with lighting, landscaping and many upgrades to the existing park.
Beth Cooper –
There’s a lot to like about Cooper but my favorite thing about her is that she’s a veteran! The veterans have been sadly misrepresented in Hope Mills for the last two years and we need someone who is willing to take a strong stance for them…on every issue.
But Cooper is also strongly connected to our community. She and her husband have been coaching through the Hope Mills Parks & Rec. program for over a decade. She’s also been very active with the local Girl Scout community. She serves on the veteran Affairs Committee as well as the newly created Board of Adjustment.
Cooper attends every single Board of Commissioners meeting and signs up to speak. She’s been unwavering in her support of many issues, but specifically on veteran issues and preparing the community for I-295. She holds the board accountable for their actions and asks hard questions.
I’m not endorsing any other candidates. To be fair, I simply didn’t have an opportunity to know Ron Starling well enough to endorse him. I don’t know anything bad about him. But the rest…are simply bad people. People with a proven track record of lying, caving, boasting, attacking, phoning it in, and choosing not to see the worth of the people. Your worth.
At the candidate forum I was given an opportunity to speak. I used it to remind the audience that while some candidates have boasted ‘we’ll see who has the power in November’, the REAL power belongs to YOU.
Vote for the candidates who understand these positions aren’t about amassing power, but are a long-term commitment to community service.