Mayor: Jinnette v. King
By Ty Johnson
Published in News on July 15, 2012 1:50 AM
Mayor Al King is seeking his third full term as mayor but faces a challenge from Henry Jinnette in the July 17 municipal general election.
King received 4,067 votes -- 63.88 percent of total votes cast -- at the May 8 election while Jinnette received 1,211, or 19.02 percent. D.A. Stuart, who was eliminated from the race through the primary, received 1,089 votes.
Appointed to lead the city following the death of Hal Plonk in January 2002, King ran for mayor in 2003 and 2007, winning both terms. He said if he is elected once again, he will continue what he's been doing since he first became mayor.
"I've had a vision and we put that out in the master plan," King said, referencing the city's downtown master plan process that was begun in 2006 and approved by the Goldsboro City Council in 2007. "We've been working toward it for the past six years."
And while downtown revitalization is one of his aims, King said he is aware that there is much discussion among residents about violent crime in the city and concerns about revenue.
Plans are in the works to adjust that through getting more citizens involved, he said, and the revenue issues aren't dire.
"Of course revenue is always a problem but we don't have a serious problem," he said. "We would like to have more funds, but we've established priorities and this year's budget wasn't nearly as bad as last year's."
Jinnette doesn't see it that way, however, insisting that the city's debt problems need to be remedied.
"No. 1, the city is in debt," Jinnette said. "We need to clean that up. I know you can't clean it all up, but you can work on it. Without a big debt on our back the city can be more effective -- it's always better to pay in cash."
Jinnette said he feels a financially responsible city -- one without a lot of debt, he said -- can attract more business because entrepreneurs aren't worried about the city voting to increase taxes in an effort to pay down debt.
That said, however, he said if he were elected he may see things differently.
"I'm against going in debt, but sometimes the car breaks down and you've got to fix it," he said.
His efforts to reduce debt spending were what separated him from King, Jinnette insisted, while the incumbent said he didn't need to elaborate on why he felt voters should choose him over his opponent.
"All I'll say is, if you know Mr. Jinnette and you know me, you don't need to ask any questions -- you don't have to wonder what the differences are," he said.
King lives with his wife, Juanita, while Jinnette resides with his wife, Betty.