01/18/08 — Evans announces run for third commission term

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Evans announces run for third commission term

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on January 18, 2008 2:05 PM

The self-proclaimed mayor of Dudley, J.D. Evans, has decided to run for a third term as the District 2 representative on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.

But first, he must secure the Democratic nomination in the May primary.

He first ran for the board in 2000.

"If you asked me 10 years ago if I wanted to be a commissioner, I had no idea," Evans said. "That was the furthest thing from my mind. But I had some well-known officials in the county who came and asked me if I would consider running because of my involvement with the schools and the planning board."

So he did -- after spending about eight years on the planning board and 33 years as a Wayne County teacher, principal and administrator.

"I'm an educator first and foremost. I didn't come into this world to be a county commissioner, but because I was an educator, I felt like I might have some knowledge to help move this county to the next level," Evans said.

And now, he continued, he wants to stick around to help the board see some of its projects through to completion -- especially the current efforts toward improved school facilities and academics.

"We want to continue the improvement of our education system," he said. "We want to continue the progress of our education system here."

Other priorities include the continued promotion of the Wayne County Development Alliance and its resulting job growth, as well as the implementation of the soon-to-be-adopted comprehensive land use plan and the effects it will have on future growth and development.

"I really want to get behind the strategic plan that's been done by the planning board," Evans said. "That's critical."

Specifically, he would like to see the county make strides in two areas of the plan -- countywide recreation and increased water and sewer capacity in strategic areas.

Admitting that the recreation pieces has long been a non-starter, he explained that he is not talking about youth sports, but rather basic offerings such walking trails geared mainly toward working adults and senior citizens.

"I'm the only one speaking in this area," he said.

Evans also has long been an advocate for bringing water and sewer into his district in Dudley.

"That's down the road, but if the county is to progress, we need water and sewer from Duplin County to Wilson County, right along the (U.S. 117/I-795) corridor," he said.

And so, he continued, with those goals and his experience in mind, he thinks he still has something to offer and contribute as county commissioner.

"I don't like promoting me," Evans said. "But I would hope people would consider my candidacy on the basis of my ability to work with people to make things happen. I would I hope I can bring to the table a sense of trust, integrity and the fact that people can work with me.

"I don't just represent Dudley. I'm a commissioner for all of Wayne County and I'm excited about taking Wayne County to the next level."