11/04/07 — Three in race for mayor of Fremont

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Three in race for mayor of Fremont

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on November 4, 2007 2:04 AM

Fremont's incumbent mayor says he wants to continue work toward improving the town, while his two challengers say they hope for a change in leadership with the same goal in mind.

Fremont Mayor Devone Jones faces challengers W. Darron Flowers, a former Fremont and Wayne County superintendent of schools, and Amy Price, a family practice doctor who practiced in Pikeville.

"Four years ago when I became the mayor of Fremont, I got the town moving in the right direction," Jones said. "The town was broke ... and our sewer, we had so much infiltration sometimes half of the bill we sent to Goldsboro would be nothing but rainwater."

Jones said grants from the N.C. Clean Water Manage-ment Trust fund led to a sewer project that's aimed for completion at the end of November.

Challenger Mrs. Price, like the mayor and Flowers said it's important to pursue active use of a sprayfield, but says practicality is dependent on its cost. A sprayfield would allow the town to disperse water over land, reducing the amount sent to Goldsboro at a cost.

"They've talked about re-opening our spray fields, and it depends on how much that would cost," Mrs. Price said. "We're hooked into Goldsboro, so in some respects, we don't have as much choice as far as what's already been done."

Flowers said if he elected he would look to keep "patching up the sewer lines and various spots" to keep the wastewater and the stormwater out," but he was cautious about citing further plans.

"I've learned from experience, until you can really get into the nuts and bolts of a budget, and the structure of a town, (you can't) really specially address these kinds of issues," Flowers said.

Jones said his experience as vice chairman of the Wayne County Democratic Party for about two years in the 1960s, his tenure of about four years as vice chairman of the local chapter of the NAACP starting in 1974 and his first four years as Fremont mayor speak to his capabilities.

Jones also has run Devone Jones Floor Covering for 37 years, and has been married to wife Geraldine for 47 years.

Flowers feels his experience as superintendent of Fremont City Schools in 1966-67, and serving as assistant, associate and superintendent for Wayne County Schools until 1964 will give him the experience needed.

"It gave me an opportunity to work with fairly complex budgeting processes, grants, staffing, working with staff and last but not least working with the public," said Flowers, who has been married to retired educator Mary Lee since 1963, he said.

Mrs. Price said her experience running her own practice would lend her the experience needed to run Fremont.

"I ran my own business for about 15 years," Mrs. Price said. "I know it would be more money and more employees, but I think if I could run my own business, I think I could help run the town."

Mrs. Price has been married to husband, Connie Price, Wayne County planning director, for 22 years, she said.

All candidates expressed a wish to continue combating crime in Fremont, specifically the drug problem.

All three also said the problem had improved since the hiring of new police Chief Ronald Rawlings, but still needs more work.