11/02/07 — Cutting crime tops agenda for council, city, candidates say

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Cutting crime tops agenda for council, city, candidates say

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 2, 2007 1:57 PM


News-Argus Staff Writer

Goldsboro City Council-man Don Chatman is a man of few words.

But not when he is talking about serving District 3.

After "sweating out" the primary election, Chatman said he is ready to move onward with the city's progress if he is re-elected.

But he will have some competition Tuesday.

Chatman and challenger Jerry Broadhurst will battle it out on the issues to earn the Goldsboro City Council seat.

Chatman said he will start with crime, one of the biggest problems in the district and the city.

"I think crime is something we need to get a grip on, and we need to get a grip on it quick," he said.

Citizens in his district are concerned as well.

"I get the most calls about crime and noise," he said.

If those citizens can come together and work with the police department, he expects much of the crime to be deterred.

"I don't know if we will ever eliminate crime, but we can control it," he said.

Chatman's opponent said that crime is a large concern of his as well.

"The gang violence, the drugs, those are problems," Broadhurst said.

And the police will help, but they can't do it all.

"I want to try to get the youths off the corners and get them more involved in the community," he said.

With his experience as a mentor and working with the state education department, Broadhurst said he can work with other youth leaders in Wayne County to create programs to keep young people busy.

The issue of crime and keeping these youths out of trouble starts at home, he said.

"When I was a kid, it used to be that my mother and father weren't just my mother and father -- they were every kid in my neighborhood's mother and father," he said. "And when we messed up, anyone's mother and father would correct us, and we would listen. We need to get back to that. It's a community effort from house to house."

In three to five years, Broadhurst hopes to see youths in District 3 and around the whole city coming together, not fighting.

And the new recreation center and community building will help, too.

"It will give them a place to go downtown," he said. "I want those places to attract all citizens, not just the youths."

Those projects are what Chatman would like to see continue as well because he feels that they benefit the city.

"I want to continue with the progress and work on the issues that we have and just continue to grow," he said.

With more than 30 years experience in serving the city as a planning director and then as councilman, Chatman said he feels he has the necessary experience to keep Goldsboro on the right track.

"I don't think I have any special talents or programs proposed," he said. "I just figure I'm here, and I have the knowledge and desire to continue with the city's projects."

Both candidates are lifelong residents of Goldsboro, and both feel they know their district and their community very well.

"I recognize firsthand the concerns of the community," Broadhurst said. "I feel I can better represent the community by being on the council and being a visible person in the district. I'm a people person, and I know District 3."

Chatman said he hopes the residents in his district are happy with how he has served them so far, and he thanks them for their votes already.

"I figure if (the seat) is for me, I will have it," he said. "And if it isn't, I will go on to something else."