The stealth candidates for city council won't tell you where they stand | Eastern North Carolina Now

Voters deserve better


There is an old saying in politics that "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything".  Unfortunately, in the current city council race, Washington voters are being presented with too much of that from candidates.

First there are the mayor's two annointed new candidates, Antwon Horton and Anthony Tyre.  They don't need to tell voters anything because they were recruited as Sadler's puppets.  If they join Sadler's incumbent puppet, Richard Brooks, then there would be a rubber stamp majority on the council, either as yes-men for Sadler or as a block to Roberson.

Then there are two new candidates who seem to go out of their way not to tell you where they stand on anything, Mary Beedle and Ellen Brabo.  Beedle will prattle on about her decision making ability but won't give you a clue as to her positions on anything.  Those who knew her before she got in the council race say she is an active supporter of various leftwing causes.  Ellen Brabo, is running on being "young blood", whatever that means but if you ask where she stands on anything, she will tell you she is for "a better Washington" which tells the voter nothing.  Some want to make something of her attendance at a LGBTQ function at the Mulberry House recently, but that probably signifies she was only going where she could find a group of potential voters to campaign with.

The two incumbents running have records on the council which gives a good idea of where they stand.  Lou Hodges has been a swing vote, sometimes going with the Mayor's camp, and sometimes opposing it. While she has sometimes disappointed, like when Sadler successfully pressed her to support his huge tax increase that she had started out opposing, she is at least not a rubber stamp like Renn and Brooks have been.  It would be nice if she had more backbone.  She was the deciding vote that gave us that tax increase.

William Pitt, the longest serving council member, has a strong record of standing up for citizens.  He was part of the Sadler slate two years ago, but when Sadler found out that Pitt puts the citizens first and has a mind of his own, the Sadler machine is opposing him this time.  That means that voters should rally in favor of Pitt.  He was one of the two votes, along with Bobby Roberson, against the tax increase.

Fortunately, there are some new candidates who are not afraid to tell voters where they stand.  Leesa Peyton-Jones speaks out about greater transparency in city government and firmly says she opposes any tax increases.  Andrew "Tex" Melton openly advocates similar positions.

Gary Ceres has set out his positions in the greatest detail and offers a lot of research he has done to back up his positions, again focusing on more transparency in city government and opposition to new taxes and fees, He calls for the total elimination of the corrupt "stormwater" tax and warns against the cronyism prevalent in city government.

A.J. Congleton's campaign is focused on increasing recreational activities for children, which has been his agenda in past campaigns.  That platform elected a council member about forty years ago in Washington but has not been successful since.  At least, he will tell you where he stands on other issues, like taxes, when asked.   Midway through his current campaign for city council, Congleton quietly changed his party registration from Unaffiliated to Republican.

Voters should beware of candidates who try to sell them "a pig in a poke" like Horton, Tyre, Brabo, and Beedle.  There is still time for them to actually tell voters where they stand on issues.  For a better informed electionate, hopefully, they will.  After that massive tax increase last year and the massive increase in storm water fees this year, any candidate who is evasive on tax and fee issues does not deserve a vote.

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( October 13th, 2023 @ 9:07 pm )
Most people forget that after Sadler's 12% tax increase last year, he pushed another 8% tax increase this year on top of it. Only when Gary Ceres organized taxpayer opposition to it did Sadler take it off the table. We need to thank Ceres for that. He, Pitt, and Roberson were the taxpayer heros over the past two years. When Sadler was afraid to go forward with his new tax increase, he punted and raised the stormwater fees instead.

The "Stormwater Utility" has always been a bad joke. While the council action that started it dictated that the money flowing into it could only go to stormwater drainage system improvements, very little of the money is actually spent for that and most is diverted elsewhere in the city budget. It is little more than a scam on property owners.
( October 13th, 2023 @ 3:13 pm )
I hear the Chamber of Commerce is pushing Brabo. Maybe Brabo's refusal to tell people where she stands on issues is related to the Chamber not sponsoring a candidate forum this year, for the first time in many years, to protect her from having to answer or duck questions.

A candidate who is afraid to tell you where they stand is a politician I simply don't trust.
( October 13th, 2023 @ 12:28 pm )
So what exactly is Congleton's position on taxes? I trust Pitt on taxes from his voting record, and I believe Melton and Ceres. From what I read that Peyton-Jones is okay, too.

Sadler has screwed Washington taxpayers to the wall. He and his Yes men need to be voted down. Hodges waffled and voted wrong. She needs to go, too.

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