By Paul Gable
Conway voters will go to the polls November 2nd to elect three members of city council from seven candidates running for office.
Incumbent council members William Goldfinch and Shane Hubbard are running for reelection. Incumbent Jean Timbes is not seeking reelection leaving one open seat to be contested.
Candidates Beth Helms, Julie Hardwick, Autry Benton, Amanda Butler and Danny R. Hardee round out the field.
In general, residents in Conway seem satisfied with the way city issues have been managed for the past six years or so. Growth is happening but not at the frenetic pace seen in other parts of the county. Crime is always an issue but not nearly as severe as in Myrtle Beach, for example.
Conway has had issues with flooding, but city council has taken a proactive approach to mitigating where possible. Areas of the city will continue to flood when heavy rain events occur, both in the local area as well as southeastern North Carolina because nature cannot be controlled. However, council continues to work on projects to minimize its effects on residents and businesses as much as possible.
A proposal to build a southern bypass road connecting highway 701 with highway 544 just past the Conway Medical Center will help with congestion now experienced on 501 through Conway as well as providing another route for emergency vehicles to the medical center.
All of this means that Goldfinch and Hubbard should be able to look forward to a relatively smooth road to reelection. But no one can actually predict what voters will do when they enter the voting booth.
Residents I have spoken to seem to prefer replacing Timbes with another woman candidate. Conway has a history of electing women to city council and mayor. It is generally felt women bring a unique perspective to the table that can add to debate on the issues.
It will be interesting to watch the campaigns of the various candidates over the next several weeks until election time.
And on November 2nd, we can see how right or wrong I am in my estimate of what will happen when ballots are counted.