Four vying for three seats on Ellenboro Town Board
Four candidates are seeking two seats as alderman for the Town of Ellenboro.
Incumbents Lee Allen, Allan Black and Mike Rhyne are running for re-election. Contending them is Michael Jennings, who has been an alderman in the past.
Kimberly Lawson is running unopposed. She was appointed to the board in March when Alderman John Morrow had to resign when he moved out of Ellenboro. Once elected, Lawson can serve out Morrow's four year term.
Incumbent Allen has lived in Rutherford County since 1972. He moved here after graduating from Crest High School and began working in the cotton mill industry. He recently retired from the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department after 17 years. He has been on the board for four years.
Incumbent Black has served with the town of Ellenboro for 12 years, previously as the mayor and currently as an alderman. He served as the finance and budget director for the board and hopes to get re-elected to continue in that position.
Incumbent Mike Rhyne was raised in Ellenboro. He has been an alderman four years.
Michael Jennings is retired and has lived in Ellenboro since 1975. He sat on the town board for 10 years.
Why are you running for office?
Lee Allen: I think things have been going pretty smoothly for the town. That's the reason I decided to run again because I'm pretty good on the board with the rest of them.
Allan Black: I think I have the experience and knowledge to keep things going in the town like they are.
Mike Rhyne: I've enjoyed doing it this first period. We have a very good town government and I just think it should continue.
Michael Jennings: I want to lower taxes in the town, lower the garbage fee and I'm trying to get the fire department back in Ellenboro where we can lower our tax rate on our fire district here again.
What are your qualifications to be an Ellenboro alderman?
Lee Allen: I'm over the streets and the lights. My job is to make sure all of the lights are on. I also make sure I find someone to fix the pot holes and if the roads need paving.
I think I'm pretty good at talking to people and communicating with the public. I'm an ex-police officer and got to meet a lot of people in the county. I try to accomplish things that the town needs.
Allan Black: I've been doing the budget and the finances for about 10 years. I do the budget every year and get it ready for the board. I am the budget chairman.
Mike Rhyne: I'm concerned with the town. I have been an alderman now for a term and have gotten that experience and I want to keep doing what I've been doing with the board.
Michael Jennings: I served 10 years already on the board, from around 1982 to 1992. I've got experience in the water system and the financial area. I own a business and I know how business works. I've worked at a public job for 40 years.
What is the primary issue for Ellenboro right now?
Lee Allen: The people in the town need to get more involved with what's going on in town and know how they are spending their money and where their money is going.
Allan Black: The primary issue is to keep things going like they are and to look for opportunities to get grants for the water system. The water grants have been more prevalent than anything else. We need to get some kind of grants to make some improvements to the town too, but there is no money available for that that I'm aware of.
We extended the water lines a couple of years ago to the new school and we want to extend it some more. We are trying to get connected in with Cleveland County and that way we would have a complete circle and have just about everybody with water lines.
Mike Rhyne: I can't think of anything we need to fix in Ellenboro. If we had something we needed to fix we would have because this board that we've got is very town-oriented and we fix things as they come up.
Michael Jennings: The main thing in Ellenboro is transparency and being honest with people. If any tax payer asks to see any statements or papers of the town, that is open door policy and they have the right to look at anything. I will try and do my best where they can get to it and see and answer all their questions.
Early voting has begun and will continue through Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. at Rutherford County Board of Elections. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. on municipal election day Tuesday, Nov. 5. Only registered voters living in one of the county's seven municipalities are eligible to vote.