Hutch Jones

Hutch Jones is running to keep his seat as Beulaville's Mayor

Q. Tell us about yourself: Where are you from? What is your line of work? How long have you lived in the town for which you are running?

A. Originally, from Albertson, I attended East Duplin High School, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Appalachian State University where I obtained degrees that enabled my wife, Kendra, and I to establish Tar Heel Human Services, P. C., a private healthcare business, in 2001. Our business provides psychological assessments and counseling, along with speech therapy. My wife and I have two children who attend East Duplin High School and Beulaville Elementary School. We attend Beulaville Presbyterian Church. We are all very active in community, school and church activities.

Q. Why have you decided to run for this position in your municipality?

A. I am currently the incumbent Republican mayor of Beulaville. I was initially elected in November 2017. It was an easy decision to file for reelection due to the progress and successes the town has experienced during my first term. The town has become financially solvent even with the adversities caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018 and the many impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The town commissioners, town employees and citizens have worked together to be very decisive in strengthening the fiscal status of the town. We have achieved this through a great deal of conversation, working together and being visible and approachable to the citizens.

The Town of Beulaville is as strong now as any other time in history. We have worked aggressively to pay off debt while aligning both financial and community goals. In addition, the town is visually more appealing. This has been accomplished by implementing Beulaville Clean Up Day each fall and spring when citizens work together to help the town look cleaner and more appealing. The town employees, Greater Beulaville Revitalization Committee, Beulaville Beautification Committee, Beulaville Area Chamber of Commerce, East Duplin Christian Outreach, our local schools and local churches work cooperatively to support community efforts that make our town a great place to live, work and run a business. Does this mean we are perfect? No is the answer. What it does mean is that we are better today than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow.

Q. What are the biggest issues facing your town?

A. I prefer to use the term opportunities to improve, grow and excel instead of issues that need to be addressed. First and foremost, we must continue to take decisive short and long term approaches to keeping the town solvent by balancing the budget and keeping it in line with growth and scalability. A very close second opportunity is our infrastructure needs. Like many rural municipalities, we are required to provide and maintain water and sewer services, public safety, road maintenance and other basic utilities. Throughout my first term, we have talked openly about how to address the immediate and long term needs in these areas. We have focused our efforts and prioritized our efforts to meet the needs of all of our citizens. Our residents, business community and visitors can see that we work diligently and have focused our efforts for the greater good of the community. This is accomplished by continually reviewing, discussing, planning and considering what actions need to be taken. It is also very important for our town to continually look at where we need to fit in the larger context of our county, region, state and national picture. One month prior to taking office, the local National Spinning Plant closed and 153 employees lost their jobs. Although all the people did not live in Beulaville, they shopped, dined and made many purchases in Beulaville. We must continue to find ways to bring jobs and industry to our town and eastern North Carolina.

Q. How, specifically, do you believe these can be addressed?

A. Although there is always room for improvement, I plan to continue working with the town commissioners to continue with our current course of action. I am very proud of what we have achieved so far and I am very proud of how we continue to work together. I believe that unity, strong leadership from the town commissioners and myself, and awareness of local, county, regional and federal opportunities for funding and programs will ensure continued success. As mentioned previously, we are not perfect, but we are better than we were and will become better than we are.

Q. Have you ever spent time volunteering, if so, how?

A. I grew up in a family and also married into a family who believe in serving, giving back and paying forward by working together for the greater good. While living in Beulaville since 2000, I have participated in many volunteer activities within the community. My family attends Beulaville Presbyterian Church and both my wife and I have served as Elders as well as many other church leadership activities. I have worked to continue the Beulaville Christmas Parade for many years. I support activities of the Greater Beulaville Revitalization Committee, Beulaville Beautification Committee, American Red Cross, East Duplin Christian Outreach, and Beulaville Area Chamber of Commerce. I have also served on the NC Psychology Board, Cabin Lake Advisory Board, Chaired and routinely participate in the Duplin County Municipal Association, Vidant Duplin Foundation Board, The Duplin County Sheriff’s Ball Committee, and the Duplin County Foundation for Youth Advancement. My family and I support and volunteer to help with activities at East Duplin High School and Beulaville Elementary School.

Q. Why should people vote for you?

A. I hope the registered voters in Beulaville will be able to feel confident and comfortable in choosing to vote for me based on the current status of the town, my leadership, accessibility and the evidence of a unified effort to help Beulaville continue to be a great place to live, work and play. If citizens have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to attend our regularly scheduled monthly meetings or call me to discuss any opportunities that will ensure continued success for our town. I may be reached at 910.298.4647 or by email at hutch.jones@yahoo.com.

Ena Sellers may be reached at esellers@ncweeklies.com