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Bless Your Heart to the great actors and actress in the Magnolia Arts Center production of Wait Until Dark. We...

Smart growth candidate

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

I’ve heard Calvin Mercer speak enthusiastically many times about his commitment to “smart planned growth” for our city and the economic value of quality of life issues. Mercer’s website describes his commitment to economic development, preserving our natural environment and creating a beautiful city. These things go together.

I looked at the websites of the other mayoral candidates and did not find reference to the relationship between economic development and our city’s natural environment. That’s alarming and it matters.

Since moving here in 2000, I’m consistently shocked by the practice of clearing a land parcel of all trees before construction begins. Cutting down trees means that we’ll have increased air and water pollution, less shade and an ugly city. Other cities place high value on trees and receive awards for creatively integrating nature into the city landscape.

I know the mayor cannot independently create city policies, but the mayor’s “break the tie vote” has impact. Calvin Mercer’s perspective considers how current issues have immediate and future consequences. The mayor’s priorities matter.

I’ve found that watching City Council meetings on GTV9 is a helpful way to learn about issues and watch council members in action. The mayor and council rely on the expertise of a group of professionals hired to do their specific jobs. The city manager is the professional who oversees all operations. We expect that our elected officials have vetted those hired and consider them well-qualified. We expect that our elected officials will always be respectful toward these employees as they come before council to present information. Without fail, Calvin Mercer is respectful. That matters.

I ask you to join me in voting for Calvin Mercer for mayor.

Rebecca Powers

Greenville

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