By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Although Edgecombe County Human Relation Commission forum Thursday night at Edgecombe Community College was scarce in candidates as well as spectators, some walked away saying the event served it purpose.
Only 19 out of 41 candidates attended the two-hour event with less than 100 people in attendance. The candidates are vying for seats in the Nov. 5 election.
Perhaps the most heated races are for the Tarboro and Princeville mayor's seats.
In Tarboro Donnie Hale, Rick Page and John Wooten are vying for the seat. Incumbent Priscilla Everette-Oates, Milton Bullock, Bobbie Jones and Theresa Wiliams are running for Princeville's top political position.
Hale and Everette-Oates did not attend.
Because of the sparse attendance there is no way of measuring whether one candidate was given the nudge over the other one.
Page, who is currently serving as Ward 3 councilman boast on his experience as a public servant. He served 20 years in the Air Force and 25 years as Tarboro Public Utility Director and nearly four years as a councilman. He believes those experiences are efficient for the position. Pages platform mainly dealt with the "positive things" in Tarboro. He said if he is elected, he will focus on building upon those things to improve the town.
"Tarboro is working toward being a certified retirement community," he said. We got a lot to offer people who wants to retire in Tarboro."
He also talked about the new businesses that have recently located in town.
Wooten, who is seeking his first political seat, focused on restoring order to the council. Recent squabbles have divided the town council. Some of the squabbles led to meetings that lasted well over one hour.
"My main priority if I am elected is to restore order at the town council meetings. Over the past year our council have been hampered by disorder. Turning an agenda of 45 minutes to 21/2 hours."
Wooten said the disorder has stunted the growth of the town.
If elected Wooten said he would like to put provide training and employment to keep college graduates in Tarboro and bring business to town.
In the Princeville mayor race, Bullock declared, "Its time for a change and its long overdue." His platform was based on uniting the community.
"The community is divided," he said during his opening statement. "When a community is divided, very seldom will there be any progress. Uniting the community will be one of my main objective.
Bullock also said he would like to improve the town's infrastructure and bring jobs to the town and promote tourism.
Jones also talked about promoting Princeville tourism. However, one of his major points included changing the culture of negative vibes that is circulating throughout the town
"We need to build a culture of excellence in the town of Princeville," Jones said. "We do that first of all by for every negative article that is published about our town, we will produce five positive articles about out town as well. That's important because perception becomes reality. If all we see, and all we do is negative about our town, we will feel that way. If we start doing positive things hearing positive things we will feel positive about ourselves and we will start acting accordingly."
Williams, who ran for the seat in 2005, playing off its name described Princeville as royalty. Her goal is to bring unity to the town.
"We should be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem," Williams said. "My goal is to come together as one to build Princeville up. Prince means a royalty ville is the place. In order to be royal you have to build the standard ups. I stand here before you and tell those who lives in Princeville, you must come together as one to build Princeville up as a royal place."
Today's story is one in a three part series. Part two will be featured in Monday's Daily Southerner