This coming election may be the most important in the storied history of Hickory politics. What makes it so important are the players, the timing, and the opportunities. I have thought long and hard about who can rise to the occasion and lead our community into a new era of prosperity and my vote will rest exclusively with Carmen Eckard and I think yours should as well.

The Players

Hickory’s Ward 1 has not been “open” for many voting cycles. Brad Lail (and the Lail name of Hickory hotel stardom) have successfully kept all competition at bay. Now that Brad has his sights on county politics it is time for a new type of leader. If you think our city has been making great strides then please stick with the same pale, male, and stale approach. However, for me, I need a refreshing person who understands the issues and doesn't shy away from finding solutions that benefit as many people as possible. I need a self-made business person who is not hand-picked by City Hall to lead us through the impending recession and the completion of the bond projects that are promised to bring $40 million+ of prosperity to our community when it was labeled "an investment in our community."

 The Timing

With the promises of unbridled economic prosperity with heavily increased property taxes, Hickory City Council and the Mayor’s office have once again come up short. The hard-working, blue-collar citizens of this community, that are paying more than their fair share of taxes, deserve to see what real economic investment looks like and not just anecdotal stories that insult our intelligence. Carmen understands that investment needs to benefit everyone and not just certain private parties and helping the Hickory rich to get richer.

 The Opportunity

When I hear members of the city council say “we need to be more positive” what I am really hearing is “Let’s keep the status quo.” In order to make changes that benefit our community as a whole, we need to openly and freely discuss what is and especially what is not working. Avoiding tough topics is cowardly and goes to show why we have the crime, homelessness, and drug abuse that puts Hickory among the worse places to live in the country for cities with populations of our size. Carmen has never and will never shy away from a tough issue. When other people in our community are running away from the fire Carmen is running toward it.

You’re a special kind of dumb if you are voting for candidates exclusively because they are female, or because of their age or your perception of their political leaning. You are only hurting yourself by not voting for the best person. Carmen is the best person given the players, timing, and opportunity. Carmen is the kind of person I want representing me and that is why I think you should vote Carmen Eckard for Ward 1 Councilperson.

KEN ANSWERS

Hickory