English EN Portuguese PT Spanish ES
English EN Portuguese PT Spanish ES

2021 Gastonia Election: City Council

Table of Contents

VOTE IN GASTONIA’S ELECTION

Election Day is November 2
Early Voting is Oct. 14 – Oct. 30

Pick who should win!

You can vote for 1 candidate to fill each Ward seat on Gastonia’s City Council. Candidates must live in the Ward, but all city voters elect who wins. The Council has 6 members, plus the Mayor. In 2023, the Mayor and 3 other Council members will be elected. They all serve 4-year terms.

CANDIDATES FOR WARD 1

ROBERT KELLOGG 

Website: robertkellogg.com
Occupation:  Retail management
Background:  Kellogg is currently serving his second term during one of the most economically robust periods in Gastonia.  He championed the FUSE project as well as other job creating initiatives.  His background in retail management has assisted him in advocating for small business as well as for local nonprofits and organizations.

Top 2 or 3 priorities:

Economic development, infrastructure and good governance.  Of course there are many more priorities, but these three go to the heart of a healthy and robust community and a strong Democracy.  Job creation, roads, sidewalks, clean water, connectivity and responsive representation are all part of the mentioned priorities.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Affordable Housing:

First, utilize incentives and partnerships to seek affordable construction of new homes and apartments. Second, increase the housing inventory by streamlining the development process and reducing costs around utilities, water and sewer. Third, continue working with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and HUD to increase affordable rental properties and housing.

Recorded Transcript

WALTER A. KIMBLE 

Website: www.walterkimble.com
Occupation: Retired Chief of Police
Background:  My combined job/life skills will serve residents, visitors and employers of Gastonia to achieve balanced, successful growth. My police career began as a volunteer rising thru ranks, ultimately retiring as Police Chief. Post retirement responsibilities: serving in public safety, Homeland Security/media consultant, lastly Gastonia Councilman 2011-2014.

Top 2 or 3 priorities:

To achieve our best Gastonia for current and future residents, balanced, inclusive growth remains paramount. Tax rate and fee stabilization constitutes a cornerstone. Public Safety and governmental services should increase commensurate with associated growth. Business friendly equals community success. Lastly, our commitment to Homeland Security must remain steadfast and unwavering.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Police accountability:

Measured police accountability promotes positive community relations. My career law enforcement qualifications and experience will be brought forth to proactively impact these co-dependent issues. I support a renewed policy nexus between the community and the police that garners lasting results. In short, actions rather than just words.

Recorded Transcript

ROBERT KING 

Website: voterobertking.com
Occupation: Business Manager
BackgroundBorn and raised in North Carolina. Graduated from UNC Chapel Hill.  Over 30 years of successful business experience.  Have lived in Gastonia for over 20 years.  Volunteer with and support several community organizations (Rotary, Food Pantry, Animal League, etc.).

Your top 2 or 3 priorities:

I want to be a voice for all the people of Gastonia to ensure that public safety and quality basic services are the government’s primary focus.  I want to use my experience to advocate for our city in order to attract new businesses and more job opportunities for our community. 

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Jobs for youth:

I propose that local government partner with businesses, the faith community, youth organizations, and schools to develop mentoring programs with job opportunities. Such programs could benefit the individual, the organizations, and our entire community. Young people could gain experience, learn from mentors, become more productive adults, and advocate for others.

Recorded Transcript

CANDIDATES FOR WARD 2

RICHARD FRANKS

Occupation: Semi-retired owner of a promotion and marketing company
Background
:
I’m a graduate of Hunter Huss High School (1983) and UNC-Charlotte (1988). I’ve owned a business over 30 years. I’m a servant of the people, not a politician. My company focuses on bringing boxing back to inner cities; these gyms help youth have a safe place to learn life skills.

Top 2 or 3 priorities:

1: Public Safety. 2: Better Management of Taxpayer Money.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Affordable Housing:

I would work closely with HUD and other agencies to bring in outside funding paired with private investment to build more affordable housing

Recorded Transcript

DAVE KIRLIN

Occupation: My occupation is a part time podiatric physician.
Background:  I have served on the Gastonia City Council for the past 22 years, therefore I am well-versed in all phases of our local municipal government. My record reflects the progress we’ve made as a city over that time.

Top 2 or 3 priorities:

It is imperative that we continue to pursue economic development opportunities to provide good paying jobs locally for citizens so they do not have to commute as far as Charlotte to work.  Strengthening our neighborhoods to support community-based policing is also a priority.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Police accountability:

Our Council recently approved a “Stratified Policing Initiative” to help prevent crime. We’ve revamped recruiting and hiring policies to promote diversity in our police force, and hired a Neighborhood Program Coordinator to work with neighborhoods to address various social issues and be a liaison between city government and neighborhood associations.

Recorded Transcript

CANDIDATE FOR WARD 5

JENNIFER M. STEPP

Website:  facebook.com/JenniferSteppCityCouncilWard5
Occupation: Former teacher
Background:  I’m a lifelong Gastonia resident and former school teacher. I have volunteered and been on the leadership teams of many organizations, including the Gaston County Family Advisory Board and Braver Angels. I’ve served on City Council since December 2017 and represent not only Ward 5 but all people in Gastonia.

Top 2 or 3 priorities:

1: As Public Safety Committee chair, I want our great police and fire departments to have the equipment, training, etc., needed to protect us and themselves, as well as maintain good community relations. 2: Provide infrastructure in an efficient manner. 3: Recruit quality jobs to support our families and increase our tax base.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Police accountability:

I would like to work on growing community relations through having our officers sponsor and participate in youth clubs, sports, mentoring/tutoring, enhanced community and neighbor watches, and special events that bring police and community together. Also with police citizen academies and a police and community relations committee.

Recorded Transcript

More Information

3  GOOD REASONS FOR YOU TO VOTE FOR WHO WILL BE THE CITY’S NEXT MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS:  

  1. Your one vote can make a big difference in who wins a local election. How just one person voted − or didn’t vote − determined the winners in elections in 39 North Carolina cities in 2019. Your vote matters!
  2. The City Council makes decisions that affect nearly every part of your life − affordable housing, police conduct, new jobs, parks, road repair, water rates, zoning for a new grocery store (or landfill). But you decide who wins!
  3. Listen to what other voters say about why they’re voting . . .
    1. “. . . too many of my ancestors died for me not to be using my right to vote.” – Kristen Marion
    2. “. . . I want someone in city hall fighting for issues important to our community.” – Robert Dawkins
    3. “. . . city elections can be very close, so my one vote could have a big impact.” – Angelica Robles
    4. “. . . it’s not just about who’s president. Who runs local government also affects me.” – Austin Padilla
    5. “. . . not voting would be giving my power away; we must use every tool we have to be heard.” – Rena McNeil

ABOUT THIS 2021 VOTER GUIDE

THIS 2021 VOTER GUIDE FOR GASTONIA is produced by Democracy North Carolina and Voting Matters Inc., which are not affiliated with any party or candidate. This Guide provides responses from the candidates and vital information about the voting process. Candidates were asked to address 1 of 3 specific topics: affordable housing; police accountability and community relations; or jobs for youth. For questions about voting, call 704-852-6005 or 888-687-8683. Two useful websites are NCVoter.org and NCVoterGuide.org.

What’s the City Council Do?

The Mayor and City Council make a wide range of decisions affecting your life. They hire and supervise the city manager who hires the police chief and other department heads. The Council sets policies and priorities and oversees the many functions of local government, including:

  • The Police & Fire Departments
  • Zoning & Building Code Enforcement
  • Affordable Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Anti-Discrimination Ordinances
  • Recreation, Parks & Arts Programs
  • Tax Rates & the City Budget
  • Water, Waste Disposal & Recycling
  • Streets, Sidewalks & Road Repair
  • City Govt. Employee Wages & Benefits

Resources for Voters

NCVoter.org – how to register, check your registration, vote by mail, locate a polling place, find a Hotline for questions.

NCSBE.gov – NC State Board of Elections website with same info as above; the State Board’s Hotline is 866-522-4723.

Vote411.org – League of Women Voters resource with candidate profiles in many cities, look up your polling place, etc.

NCVoterGuide.org – Local voter guides and loads of information about voting.

Have Your Say!

“When we all vote, we determine our future.” – Michelle Obama

The ballot box is the one place where we are all equal: One person, One vote. Your vote is a powerful way to express yourself. Vote in every election because your future matters! 

3 Ways to Vote

1. DURING EARLY VOTING

Gastonia voters may vote early at the Early Voting site listed below. Voting early is especially good if you have moved or have not voted in several years because your registration may need to be updated.

You can update a registration or register as a new voter during Early Voting by using same-day registration. Show the poll worker one of these with your current address: a utility bill, a bank or payroll statement, or any document from a government agency; or your NC driver’s license; or a student ID with a college document showing your address. The document may be a digital image on your cellphone.

2. On Election Day, at your precinct

Election Day is Tuesday, November 2, 2021. On Election Day, go to your precinct’s polling place between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm. See the list of precinct polls inside. If you’re in line by 7:30 pm, you will be able to vote. If you go to the wrong polling place in Gastonia and don’t have time to go to the correct poll, ask to use a provisional ballot. If you are properly registered, it will count.

3. Mail-in absentee voting

Any registered voter may vote by mail. First, submit a request for the absentee ballot, either by using the online form at demnc.co/mail or by completing and returning a paper form so it arrives at the board of elections at least 7 days before Election Day. The paper form is at demnc.co/request. Vote the ballot sent to you in the presence of two witnesses or a notary. Fill out and sign the envelope sent to you with the ballot and return to the elections office by Election Day at 5 pm. See demnc.co/mail for details. Follow the directions carefully.

7 Tips for voting

  1. No photo ID is needed to vote in 2021. The poll worker will ask you to state your name and address and sign in.
  2. If you aren’t registered or have moved, register at your current address at least 25 days before the election. See demnc.co/reg to register to vote online or to download a registration form. If you miss that deadline, you can use same-day registration to register and vote during Early Voting (but not on Election Day) – see #1 at left under “3 Ways To Vote” for how to use same-day registration.
  3. Newly registered voters may need to show a form of ID if there was a problem verifying their registration; they will need to show one of the non-photo IDs listed in #1 at left or any photo ID.
  4. Any voter may get help inside the poll from a near family member (not a cousin). Voters with a disability (including reading difficulty) may get help from anyone, except their employer or union agent. Voters with a physical, mental or medical disability may vote in a vehicle at the polling location’s curb (“curbside voting”).
  5. You don’t lose your right to vote if you have an outstanding war-rant, traffic ticket, bankruptcy, civil fine, or misdemeanor. No elections official will ask you about outstanding fines, tickets, etc.
  6. You may take a list of your choices inside the polling place to help you remember, but do not show the list to others or leave it. You may view a list on your cellphone but don’t use the phone as a camera; taking pictures is prohibited inside the poll. If you mark the wrong choice by mistake, ask the elections official for a new ballot to replace a “spoiled” one.
  7. If you mark the wrong choice by mistake, ask the elections official for a new ballot to replace a “spoiled” one.

VOTE AT YOUR OWN PRECINCT ON ELECTION DAY, NOV. 2

Find your precinct at demnc.co/poll or call the elections office at 704-852-6005

PREC # PRECINCT NAME PRECINCT POLLING PLACE POLLING PLACE ADDRESS
1 YORK CHESTER ADULT RECREATION CENTER 519 FRANKLIN BLVD, GASTONIA 28052
2 VICTORY PHILLIPS CENTER 2031 ECHO LN, GASTONIA 28052
3 PLEASANT RIDGE PLEASANT RIDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1260 FLOYD LN, GASTONIA 28052
4 FOREST HEIGHTS FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD (new location) 777 S MYRTLE SCHOOL RD, GASTONIA 28052
5 HEALTH CENTER HIGHLAND HEALTH CENTER 609 HIGHLAND ST, GASTONIA 28052
6 MYRTLE T JEFFERS CENTER 121 HARTMAN ST, GASTONIA 28052
7 HIGHLAND ERWIN CENTER 913 PRYOR ST, GASTONIA 28052
8 WOODHILL BRADLEY COMMUNITY CENTER 1200 MODENA ST, GASTONIA 28054
9 GRIER GRIER MIDDLE SCHOOL 1622 GARRISON BLVD, GASTONIA 28054
10 SHERWOOD SHERWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1744 DIXON RD, GASTONIA 28054
11 ARMSTRONG COUNTY SCHOOLS OFFICE 943 OSCEOLA ST, GASTONIA 28054
12 FLINT GROVES BROOKSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1925 AUTEN RD, GASTONIA 28054
14 GARDNER PARK COVENANT BAPTIST CHURCH 3131 ERSKINE DR, GASTONIA 28054
15 ROBINSON #1 NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY 2100 ROBINWOOD RD, GASTONIA 28054
16 GASTON DAY ROBINSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 3122 UNION RD, GASTONIA 28056
17 ROBINSON #2 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GASTON 2650 UNION RD, GASTONIA 28054
18 ASHBROOK ASHBROOK HIGH SCHOOL 2222 NEW HOPE RD, GASTONIA 28054
19 SOUTH GASTONIA RIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH 3818 OLD YORK RD, GASTONIA 28056
20 BESSEMER CITY #1 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF BESSEMER 107 WASHINGTON AVE, BESSEMER CITY
21 BESSEMER CITY #2 ALLAN FARRIS COMMUNITY CENTER 220 14TH ST, BESSEMER CITY 28016
22 CROWDERS MTN PISGAH ARP CHURCH 3600 LINWOOD RD, GASTONIA 28052
29 NEW HOPE NEW HOPE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 137 STOWE RD, GASTONIA 28056
30 MCADENVILLE WEST CRAMERTON BAPTIST CHURCH 5006 WILKINSON BLVD, GASTONIA 28056
31 UNION W A BESS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 4340 BEATY RD, GASTONIA 28056
40 DALLAS #1 HOLY COMMUNION LUTHERAN CHURCH 103 CHURCH ST, DALLAS 28034
41 DALLAS #2 DALLAS BAPTIST CHURCH 402 TRADE ST, DALLAS 28034

Early Voting in Gaston Co., Oct. 14-30

You can vote early at one Early Voting location. Questions? Call the Board of Elections at 704-852-6005.

Gaston County Board of Elections Office – 410 West Franklin Blvd., Suite 30, Gastonia 38052. Open weekdays (Mon.-Fri.), Oct. 14-Oct. 29, 8:30 am-6:00 pm and Saturday, Oct. 30, 8:00 am-3:00 pm.

Share