Three incumbents and two newcomers have filed to run for Ellerbe Town Council.
So that they could state their goals and reasons for running in their own words, the Daily Journal sent each one a questionnaire. Despite repeated telephone calls over several days, we could not reach incumbent Jean Fletcher to make sure she had a questionnaire or ask for a way to ensure she received one. Thus, her answers are not listed.
The answers of two incumbent council members — Corey Brewington and Archie Robinson — are included here, as are the answers of challengers Fred Cloninger and Lee Freeman. All are in alphabetical order by last name.
Freeman ran for a seat in 2015, along with his wife, Elsie. She was elected, alongside Jeremy McKenzie, and now sits on the council.
Mayor Lee Berry has filed for re-election but is running unopposed.
Ellerbe’s is one of only two contested council elections in the county. Hamlet is the other.
COREY BREWINGTON (incumbent)
Age: 42 years old
Occupation: UPS service provider, 40 years; pastor, Foundation of Jesus Christ Deliverance Temple, Ellerbe
What are the best things about living in Ellerbe? It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone, friendly people, small schools, great-eating restaurants, an ice cream stop like no other.
What can you do to improve life for Ellerbe residents? Keep residents educated and aware of new changes and improvements, addressing community concerns and cleaning up the town one street at a time.
Why are you running for office? To continue the new start of improvements, bringing our town up to date and making it a place that’s clean and inviting for all that pass through.
What do you intend to accomplish? Helping the small town I grew up in grow and be all it can be with clean buildings, clean neighborhoods, new businesses, new jobs and new residents. This is my personal goal and purpose for my re-running for election.
Occupation: mobile maintenance supervisor at Vulcan Materials Co. for 30 years
How long have you lived in Ellerbe? I was born and raised is Ellerbe, lived in Rockingham for 37 years and moved back to Ellerbe in June 2016.
Membership in community organizations: I am a member of Rolling Sandhills Civitan Club, I am the secretary for the Richmond County Beekeepers Association and I volunteer at the Mineral Springs Community Council Food Bank in Ellerbe.
What are the best things about living in Ellerbe? Ellerbe has a great sense of community and of belonging. People here seem to want to support one another and help out whenever they can. Whether it’s when someone is sick, a loved one has passed away or there’s work that needs to be done for a particular project, you can count on your friends and neighbors to step up. Ellerbe has developed great traditions like the Farmers’ Day Parade, lawnmower racing and Hometown Christmas. I love that these events help show off the pride and love we have for our town.
What can you do to improve life for Ellerbe residents? I will always be available to talk to any resident about questions, concerns or ideas they may have for improvement. Personally, I believe if we are able to help more small businesses to open and thrive, then that — in turn — will generate more opportunities for our residents. It is our duty, as a town, to do all we can to help our merchants be successful. I would also like to see us provide more recreational opportunities for our youth. I have years of experience in refereeing and coaching sports, and I will do all I can to help in that area.
Why are you running for office? What do you intend to accomplish? I’m running for Town Council because I want to get connected and be a part of helping Ellerbe become a stronger, more vibrant town. Ellerbe has always been home to me, and I want to give back to the place that has given so much to me and my family.
Occupation: retired from state government
How long have you lived in Ellerbe? seven years
Membership in community organizations: member and deacon, First Baptist Church of Ellerbe; member, American Legion Post 147; member, Marine Corps League Post 1252; member, AMVETS Post 316; member, Military Order of the Purple Heart
What are the best things about living in Ellerbe? The best things about living in Ellerbe are the peace and quiet, (and) low number of cars. The people help each other. Churches where the word of God is preached. Love for country.
What can you do to improve life for Ellerbe residents? Better water, better streets, improvements at town cemetery, code enforcement. Hope to build pride in town. Sidewalk improvement. Better equipment for town employees. Upgrade of town.
Why are you running for office? What do you intend to accomplish? To improve things, if possible. To have a voice for the people. Work with the commissioners and mayor. Seek grants for town needs.
ARCHIE L. ROBINSON (incumbent)
Occupation: retired from the Town of Ellerbe
How long have you lived in Ellerbe? All of my life. I was born and raised in Ellerbe.
Membership in community organizations: I am and have been a member of Ellerbe Volunteer Fire Department for over 30 years
What are the best things about living in Ellerbe? It is a nice, quiet family-oriented town, and (I like) the people.
What can you do to improve the life of the Ellerbe residents? I would like to try to ensure Ellerbe remains a quiet, family-oriented town. I intend to be available to the residents, to listen to their concerns.
Why are you running for office? I have Ellerbe’s best interest at heart.
What do you intend to accomplish? I would like to work on affordable housing for residents and other people that would like to (live in) Ellerbe. I would also like to get the sidewalks repaired and upgraded in town. I want to continue to work to beautify and maintain our town.