Greenville candidates running for mayor discuss issues in forum


GREENVILLE, Pitt County - Voting for Greenville mayor begins in two days with early-voting. Tuesday, the four candidates running for the job came together at a luncheon to discuss the issues.

The Chamber of Commerce's Power Luncheon take place 10 times a year, but this one had a larger attendance than they usually do. The four candidates for Greenville mayor spoke during a candidate forum about their platforms, focusing on several particular issues. It's the first time this election cycle each of the candidates were together at one venue.

"Well its not sexy to talk about, but I have raised storm water as a huge important challenge that we have to address," said Calvin Mercer.

One of the ways for business to grow, to bring business here is to have venues available that people are going to want to come here, students are going to want to stay here," said Ernest Reeves.

"Over the years its kind of been neglected, we're starting to get to the point where we're starting to put more money into our roads, the DOT is doing that as well as the city," said P.J. Connelly.

Candidate Curtis Pulley declined to comment about his platform. He also didn't answer several other questions but said "God almighty endorsed me, he told me to get up and run for mayor of Greenville North Carolina, so that's what I'm doing."

Candidates were passionate about continuing to grow the city.

"Businesses will want to come here and professionals will want to locate here with their families," Mercer said.

"We've got to understand that if we want people to come to our community and invest in our community, we've got to invest in our community," Connelly said.

"If we're taking care of people they must be safe but we must have economic growth," Reeves said.

Regarding how each would approach the city's infrastructure, Mercer and Connelly had similar responses.

"Every person on a sidewalk or a bicycle is one less person in your traffic jam," Mercer said.

"The county as of right now, from what I understand, does not want to build sidewalks, so we're gonna have to create a partnership and work out some kind of plan moving forward," Connelly said.

Reeves agreed, adding the parking needs to be reevaluated, especially for those who work in the downtown area. But he focused more on how to help the entire city.

"There's a lot of people in need here, even though the city is prospering there's still another side of the city that's not doing so well so we need to help them as well," Reeves said.

Pulley did say the city's bus system is what he's most concerned with. He talked about 14 billion dollars coming to Greenville.

"You'll see some of the richest people in the world on my Facebook page," Pulley said. "I don't even respond to them. I don't know how to run email."

Polls open on Nov. 7 after early voting is complete.

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