PROFILE: Hamlet council candidates


Compiled by Christine S. Carroll - christinecarroll@yourdailyjournal.com



Christine Carroll | Daily Journal Very few swales or street corners in Hamlet accommodate the campaign signs of all four people who have registered to run for City Council on Nov. 7. On Monday, a couple of new signs popped up, too — for Ernie Johnson, presumably a write-in candidate. Johnson was unable to answer the same questions as other candidates by press time. As of Tuesday afternoon, his Facebook page, Ernie Johnson for Hamlet City Council, contained six photos and a reminder that early voting was in progress.


We asked the four people vying for Hamlet City Council to answer a short questionnaire so that they could explain their reasons for running in their own words.

Because this is not English class, we did not ask them to answer in complete sentences, but for the sake of clarity, we have inserted parenthetical phrases. Such phrases do not reflect any kind of error on the part of a candidate.

You will see that candidates answered the questions provided in different ways, dividing some answers into two parts and choosing not to answer some questions. Make of that what you will.

Answers are listed in alphabetical order of the candidates’ last names. Incumbents are noted.

We did not give Mayor Bill Bayless a questionnaire because he is running unopposed.

Stephanie Corey Dixon

Age: 27

Occupation: office assistant, Cable Hound Tracking

How long have you lived in Hamlet? six years

Membership in community organizations: former member, Hamlet museums and depot board; city event volunteer; member, Seaboard Festival Board

What are the best things about living in Hamlet? I love the small-town life and close-knit community. One of the best things about living in a small town is that you really get to know the opinions and feelings of citizens in the community.

When you make changes in small towns like ours, you can see how those changes affect the community almost immediately. When successful changes occur, you can see how it makes the community as a whole happier and more prosperous.

What can you do to improve life for Hamlet residents? I want to be a part of the decision-making process in the community and assist in the changes that will help attract business, large and small, to our town and make Hamlet a vibrant, growing community again. I also want to inspire everyone who can volunteer and get involved with local projects to do so. Supporting our local fundraisers, committees and events is a great way to learn about local history, bring revenue into our local economy, and grow and show your hometown pride.

Why are you running for office? What do you intend to accomplish? Hamlet needs businesses, opportunities and community growth. While I do not have previous public-service experience, I do not see that as a drawback. Oftentimes, a fresh perspective is needed to move forward with positive changes. I hope to do that. I am eager to see advancements that will benefit Hamlet now and in 20 years.

Jerry Lamont

Age: 64

Occupation: retired

How long have you lived in Hamlet? 60 years

Membership in community organizations: none

What are the best things about living in Hamlet? It’s a small town, and it is my hometown. I love living in Hamlet because it is a simple town to live in. I love a small-town life, and Hamlet is it.

What can you do to improve life for Hamlet residents? I will try to do everything I can to make Hamlet a better place to live. I will try to improve life in Hamlet as much as I can. We need to make some changes in Hamlet, but it starts with the help of the citizens of Hamlet. We need to listen more to the citizens and not to special groups or our friends if it is not good for Hamlet citizens.

Why are you running for office? I am running for office because we need some new views and opinions. I will ask questions when I think they are needed and try to be more open to questions from the citizens of Hamlet.

What do you intend to accomplish? I will try to make the the views and opinions voiced by the City Council more open to some accountability to the citizens. I also would like to see that all city employees are treated the same. That would make things in Hamlet run better, when all employees think they are treated the same.

Jesse McQueen (incumbent)

Age: 46

Occupation: co-owner, McQueens’ Sweet Life

How long have you lived in Hamlet? since 1991

What are the best things about living in Hamlet? I love living in Hamlet because this is my home. I moved here in 1991 and almost immediately, everyone treated me like family. It has been my privilege to raise my family in this wonderful city.

What can you do to improve life for Hamlet residents? I can help improve Hamlet by focusing on several important issues. They are as follows: fiscal responsibility, cost-effective services, improved infrastructure and being an advocate for the wonderful employees of our city.

Why are you running for office? I am running for re-election to the Hamlet City Council because I love serving the citizens of this wonderful community. To me, this is not a job; rather, (it is) a chance to make a difference.

Eddie R. Martin (incumbent)

Age: 73

Occupation: retired chief of police, City of Rockingham

How long have you lived in Hamlet? Born and raised in Hamlet, except for time served in USMC (U.S. Marine Corps), Vietnam; chief of police, Rockingham.

Membership in community organizations: Marine Corps League, Hamlet American Legion Post 49, AMVETS 316

What is the best thing about living in Hamlet? Home. Small-town atmosphere.

What can you do to improve life for Hamlet residents? Ensure services are provided for citizens and employees, have the equipment to perform (employees’) duties — including police and fire departments.

Why are you running for office? What do you intend to accomplish? To continue to work for the betterment of Hamlet citizens and employees.

Christine Carroll | Daily Journal Very few swales or street corners in Hamlet accommodate the campaign signs of all four people who have registered to run for City Council on Nov. 7. On Monday, a couple of new signs popped up, too — for Ernie Johnson, presumably a write-in candidate. Johnson was unable to answer the same questions as other candidates by press time. As of Tuesday afternoon, his Facebook page, Ernie Johnson for Hamlet City Council, contained six photos and a reminder that early voting was in progress.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_campaignsigns17-1.jpgChristine Carroll | Daily Journal Very few swales or street corners in Hamlet accommodate the campaign signs of all four people who have registered to run for City Council on Nov. 7. On Monday, a couple of new signs popped up, too — for Ernie Johnson, presumably a write-in candidate. Johnson was unable to answer the same questions as other candidates by press time. As of Tuesday afternoon, his Facebook page, Ernie Johnson for Hamlet City Council, contained six photos and a reminder that early voting was in progress.

Compiled by Christine S. Carroll

christinecarroll@yourdailyjournal.com

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.

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