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SMN Commission forum highlights

The Smoky Mountain News held a forum with all four of the Haywood County Commission candidates at the Folkmoot Friendship Center Oct. 20. If you missed it, be sure to check out the video on YouTube — https://youtu.be/aeyUEDKc_FQ. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights of the evening.

SMN: Do you support your party’s nominee for president?

Black: Yes I do. 

Brown: Yes, I do too. 

Ensley: I am supporting Donald Trump. I am a pro-life voter… Hillary Clinton will never be pro-life. 

Rogers: I am supporting Donald Trump. He is our party’s nominee. 

SMN: Would you advocate utilizing county resources to support recreational programs that benefit the entire county?

Black: I support any advancement in tourism and recreation activities. 

Brown: If people live outside the county they probably ought to pay a higher rate to use the Town of Waynesville pool and probably if they live outside the Town of Canton there ought to be a small maybe minimal increase for those rates. 

Ensley: I think as county commissioners we probably need to be educated on just how many residents use the Waynesville and Town of Canton facilities and probably start to try to carve out some funding in our budget each year to help them out with that. 

Rogers: I would be in support of that. 

SMN: Affordable housing — do we push for lower-priced housing, or higher median incomes in the county?

Black: It’s both. We need to raise the median incomes in Haywood County and we need to bring in affordable housing. 

Brown: A bigger part of the problem is that 33 percent of the people that live in Haywood County make less than $15,000 a year… It’s a real problem that we’ve got to address. 

Ensley: I think we can work with where water and sewer is located, then we can build smaller houses, the property owners build those houses, he gets an income from having a rentable unit and it helps our affordable housing issue because… they’re not huge homes.

Rogers: I would support raising the median (income).

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