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Wagner served seven years on the Planning and Zoning Commission, including two years as chairman. He is an attorney whose practice focuses on land-use and corporate law, and he frequently represented clients in zoning requests before the City Council. Wagner supports budget-cutting and lower taxes and said he reluctantly supports economic incentives, although he is philosophically opposed to them.
Wagner said: "Leaders lead. That seems like a very simple statement, but it's really true. I feel that the next step for me is to lead by sitting up here."
Jim Davis is a general contractor who now sits on the High Point
Planning and Zoning Commission and the High Point
Parks and Recreation Commission. He is well known and liked in his ward.
Davis argued that the City Council does not get budget information early enough to do proper line-item reviews, and that there is fat in city departments that can be cut. He said the city may have to pass more health care costs through to its employees.
Davis said he is a commonsense candidate who has lived in High Point
all his life, and, having served on other boards, knows that serving on the City Council is a position of "long hours and tough decisions."
Davis said: "I'm the only candidate running for Ward 5 tonight who has taken the opportunity to serve our city."
Gerald Grubb is the owner of Southern Cross Mortgage. He ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 6 seat in 2010 and has since been redistricted into Ward 5. He also ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for the North Carolina state House District 61 seat and lost to former High Point
Councilmember John Faircloth.
Grubb promises to be "a conservative voice in city government," voting against tax rate increases and utility rate increases, and attempting to eliminate the business license tax. He has attacked limitations on carrying firearms in parks as "just another eroding of personal freedoms" and said he would have supported a pay raise for city employees on the low end of the pay scale, if that could have been done without raising taxes.
Grubb said: "Before you push that button, stop and think who on that list that you can pick from is going to have new ideas, fresh ideas."
Rodney Joslin badly lost an attempt to unseat Whitley in 2010, coming in third of three candidates with only 730 votes. He runs the quality control department at TE Connectivity and volunteers with NC Baptist Disaster Relief. He said he was motivated to run both times because of high electric rates.
Joslin said: "Our electric is much higher than Duke Power, which serves the rest of the state."
Jim Corey is the incumbent, and a retired political science professor from High Point
Corey railed against last year's county property revaluation, saying it was the worst year possible in which to do one, and said High Point
lost $2.1 million in property tax revenue. He said he went through the city budget line by line – and showed every sign of having done so in budget sessions, to the exasperation of other councilmembers. He has been a strong supporter of renewable energy, including switching the city's fleet of vehicles to hybrids and, when it becomes practical, to electric cars.
Corey supported this year's budget, saying the property tax increase was revenue-neutral and the city has reduced staff through attrition.
Corey said: [On the revaluation] "That explains why the property tax was raised a small amount to make up that loss of revenue. We could have raised it more, but we didn't."
Jason Ewing ran for the Ward 6 seat in 2010 and only barely lost to Corey. Corey won 1,693 votes to Ewing's 1,647. A real estate agent for eXp Realty. He attacked the city for taking years to tear down a dilapidated apartment complex in the 500 block of Meredith Street. He said that High Pointers poll percent below the regional average on the overall image of their community, and that is much of High Point
Ewing said further tax increases aren't an option in the near term and that High Point
should cut its budget. He also said the city should look for other sources of revenue, such as dog licensing or raising its license plate fee. He said that High Point
citizens aren't calling for service cuts.
Ewing said: "I strongly believe in 'by the people and for the people,' and constituent service is very important."