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BAILEY — The town’s sewer situation and infrastructure needs are the campaign focus of all five candidates running for three available board seats in this year’s municipal election.
Bailey is under a state-issued sewer moratorium, which is hindering residential growth and commercial expansion — something on which all the candidates agree.
Incumbent Joel Killion, 40, said the best way to get the moratorium lifted is to continue the work started earlier this year with the Upper Coastal Plains Council of Governments, the N.C. Rural Water Association and other agencies to keep applying for all relevant grants.
“It will take time and it won’t be easy, but Bailey is worth it,” Killion said.
Challenger Timothy Johnson, 48, said the town’s greatest challenge is its aging infrastructure for streets, water and sewer.
“The thing to remember is that there is no such thing as ‘free money’ anymore,” Johnson said. “We have to come up with unique financing solutions that will help the town work toward fixing our problems without breaking the backs of the residents and business owners that live and work in the town with increased taxes or increased enterprise rates that serve no purpose other than to increase the coffers of the town with no progress shown.”
Incumbent Ervin Powell, 48, said he will continue to work with the town’s other commissioners to come up with solutions to end the moratorium.
Challenger Craig Johnson, 69, said the town needs to find a way to get off the moratorium and obtain the needed funding without breaking Bailey residents’ backs.
Incumbent Allen Daniels, 51, said Bailey’s biggest challenge is Envirolink, the company contracted to handle the town’s public works.
“I can’t believe Envirolink is looking for a price increase when it isn’t doing its job,” Daniels said.
Killion is a marketing director and information technology manager with an associate degree from Wilson Community College. He said he’s running for town commissioner because he wants to continue working with Mayor Thomas Richards in moving forward.
“The diversity, solidarity and competency of this team, along with Mrs. Debbie Baker, our CFO; Mrs. Kellie Glover, our town clerk; and Mr. Vince Sievert, our zoning administrator/code enforcer; has created a hopeful, refreshing and productive atmosphere I’m proud to be a part of,” Killion said.
Timothy Johnson, a license plate agency manager, previously served as a town commissioner and mayor. He said he’s running for commissioner because he likes working for the community.
“I was raised to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’” Timothy Johnson said. “I believe that becoming a civil servant should not be for self-gratification but for the right reasons with personal or professional gain.”
Powell, an associate operator at Collins Aerospace in Wilson, graduated from Southern Nash High School and received an associate degree in biblical studies from N.C. Theological Seminary. He said he’s running for commissioner because he wants to be a voice for the Bailey community.
Craig Johnson is retired from a railroad career. He said he’s running for commissioner because he feels the town needs new direction, which he can bring because of his experiences and desire to see Bailey residents benefit from someone who has their needs at heart.
Daniels is the owner of a forklift repair business. He said he’s running to finish the good work the current town board has begun.
Married with four children, Killion said he most enjoys Bailey’s quiet and friendly atmosphere where folks wave at each other and help one another.
“It’s everything I want for my four girls to grow up in and I hope Bailey grows and progresses so they will one day want to stay here and raise their own families,” Killion said.
Timothy Johnson is marred with three children. He said he enjoys Bailey’s people and the relatively short distance between Bailey and major cities, which makes Bailey ideal for folks who want to have certain amenities nearby, but not the hustle and bustle of a major metropolitan area at their front door.
Married with two children and a grandchild, Powell said he most enjoys Bailey’s small-town atmosphere were everybody pretty much knows everybody.
Craig Johnson is married with two children, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild. He said he enjoys Bailey’s hometown feeling.
Married with three children, Daniels said he enjoys Bailey’s place as a central hub.
“I can be in Goldsboro or Raleigh in an hour,” Daniels said. “The area reminds me of the area north of Atlanta, which keeps growing and growing. I’m told 60 to 62 people a day move into Raleigh. They will be moving into Bailey soon. We will have to accept it or move out.”