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Creedmoor candidates convene at forum

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CREEDMOOR— Almost all of the candidates who are running for the Creedmoor Board of Commissioners and both candidates running for mayor attended a candidate forum hosted by the Granville County Human Relations Committee and the League of Women Voters on Tuesday.

Sonya Glavin from the League of Women Voters was the moderator and she thanked those in attendance for being engaged in the election process. Candidates for commissioner are Robert Way, Georgana Kicinski, Kechia Brustmeyer-Brown, Ed Mims and incumbents Ernie Anderson and Herman Wilkerson. Incumbent Archer Wilkins was unable to attend the forum.

Incumbent Bobby Wheeler and Amor Agdeppa are vying for the mayor’s seat.

NOTE: Some questions asked at the forum have been removed and some answers have been shortened for space purposes. To read the full version of Tuesday night’s conversation, read this story on granvilleonline.com.

Question: How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?

Way: “I believe the residents are the voices that we represent and we as commissioners are elected people and we should represent the citizens of the community that we are in. You should be able to meet with the citizens, let them voice their concerns to you and bring back positive reinforcement and bring it to the board as a whole to bring their concerns to the board.

Kicinski: “City council meetings are open to the public and people are encouraged to come. I’m guilty of not coming to all of them, just as a lot of people are. ... The communication system that is in this country right now is between email, voicemail, I have reached out to commissioners and have got answers within hours. I believe the commissioners, some of them, not all of them, have come back in a very timely manner. Some of them have not come back at all. I am not here to name names, but the only way to get residents involved in the decision-making is to let them know. ... Everybody’s opinion matters, everybody’s voice matters. There is not a voice in the city of Creedmoor that does not matter.”

Brustmeyer-Brown: “From my perspective, I do believe it is important for us to build a relationship with our residents. For me, my family and I have been here four years and I have actually had to go out to seek things. I do believe our commissioners need to be out in the community, building relationships with the residents on a one-on-one or personal basis, not necessarily have them come to a meeting. ... I do believe that as a board, as a city commissioners we need to communicate more on a one-on-one basis or more personal basis with our residents so they do feel comfortable.”

Anderson: “I’m a business owner, I’ve owned a couple of different businesses, I’ve always been involved in the public. ... Creedmoor, we have to keep in mind, it’s a small community, we are growing, but through the last census we had 4,200-4,500 people in the city of Creedmoor. Getting out amongst the residents is not a hard job to do. ... So we have to take it to the public and talk to them. We don’t come and really talk to them about the meeting. I will ask them what is it that they want. The street idea came from the public, when we went through and paved the streets. That idea came from the public. ... Some of the ideas that we have brought to the board came from the public, but we have to ask the public, they are not coming to us, we have to ask them.”

Wilkerson: “I have been here for quite a while and I hope to be here for four more years. The main thing I have seen in the past is the way the people react toward the government that sits on this board when we are up here. Some enjoy it, some of them don’t like it and some of them try to make fun of everything we do. At least we are doing what we think is the best for the community and the whole city. ... Whatever you believe in then go with it. You can’t take what John Doe believes in and try to set up here and talk about it and try to run on that. You have got to go by your own experience and your own knowledge and everything you believe in yourself.”

Mims: “You have heard people say there are three, four, five people in the audience. Most of the time I have been one of those individuals. I have been told I have been to the city meetings over 90 percent of the meetings. I have some specific ideas, first, the board of education is live streaming its meetings. They were not doing that before this year. That was brought up and we made it happen. So, live streaming certainly has possibilities. ... The idea of looking at live streaming is one thing, but being a mobile board, to where we just don’t sit here and ask individuals to come and hear us, where we literally get out of our seats. As a military commander, there was no way that I could stay in my office and know what was going on in the field. I had to get up, go out and visit the troops and that is what we need to do.”

Wheeler: “It is definitely the responsibility of not only the board, but the citizens. ... If you don’t know, it’s because you have not been out in the community. You have not seen what the citizens see. The citizens part of it, and I was like this for a lot of times, you feel like nobody is listening to you. ... A lot of that is an issue that happens in any type of government, but it is our responsibility as commissioners and as mayor to get out and meet the community.”

Agdeppa: “I will bring the city to the people and I am a people person. They see me every time. I go to Main Street, dollar store. I love talking to people, that‘s me, so that will not be an issue for me. I love everybody, stores on Main Street, barber shop, I’m everywhere. I love talking to people. Being around they will tell me their concerns.”

Question: What can the city of Creedmoor do to insure that continued economic growth is equitable that addresses the disparities that are in our community?

Brustmeyer-Brown: “In my opinion, I believe that we have a very quaint city and I believe we should build upon our strengths and the assets we already have. The Lake Roger beautification uplift that we are doing. I would love to see our Main Street become more of a historical district, possibly implementing a historical museum for our city. ... The thing that we are continuing to do by utilizing the current assets that we have will bring forth new businesses. They are going to want to be here in our area, just based on some of the things we are doing. Outside of the sidewalks we are developing and community center, we may want to consider pop-up parks in certain areas as well. We have dogs and lots of people with small children.”

Kicinski: “We have a new person in our office that move into the Creedmoor area. After a couple of weeks, I asked her how did she like living here. Her response was, ‘There is nothing to do here.’ I would like to see us welcome new businesses. ... I have seen changes, but it minor. The people in Creedmoor need more than one place to eat, one place to shop and one place to visit. Without losing the small town charm, I don’t want to lose that and I don’t want to lose, as Kechia called it, the quaint curb appeal. I don’t want to lose that in Creedmoor at all. We can still grow without losing that.”

Anderson: “I am going back to something I said before. I too would like to see Creedmoor grow in a business sense, but we have some things stopping us. ... I would like to see a shiny new restaurant in town here so we can all sit down and have dinner so we will not have to go to Raleigh or Durham. The problem is are we going to support that restaurant every night. ... If we are going to draw people in town then we are going to have to support them people. ... So when we ask for new businesses, let me bring up one other question. We looked at the situation about what the problem might be. Keep in mind we have three major highways that run through Creedmoor. We as a town governing body can’t do a thing to the streets behind us. We can change the facelift on a building, but can’t tear it down and get a new building put in, because there are certain specs that we stay to meet the criteria of the NCDOT. They control all three highways.

Way: “You have to look at Creedmoor as a place for economic growth to gain interest. ... This is a great place and this is where I want to have a business. This is a community. It is not just somewhere you drive through and keep going. We need to figure out a way to support the business owners that we already have in place in town. One of the things that I like is how the city is helping with the improvements of the exterior of the businesses. We need to also look at the businesses and say ‘what else can we do as a town to help you?’ ... Being in North Hills and talking with those restaurants and businesses that have relocated in Raleigh, because they have the rooftops to support them, but you know the criteria they are looking for when they come in.”

Wilkerson: Yes, people go outside the city limits of Creedmoor. They do most of their shopping, most of their eating out and most anything you want to call it, they go out of town. We have a grocery on the east side of Creedmoor. I am the one that got that grocery store. I think it is doing real good. We had one on the west side over next to Butner at Lyon Station and that is still doing good. We still have room for another grocery store to come in if one would come in. We are still looking for a grocery store to come in if one is available. Just because we don’t have but one brand here in Creedmoor, it is not a reason why we should not have another one.”

Mims: “In 2010, I participated at the old gym in the development in the city’s 2030 plan that has been updated to the 2035 plan and 2040. Those plans talk about economic development and they talk about being equitable and diverse. Let me give you a couple of thoughts. We do not have a clear plan for economic development. I recently met with the planning director and we talked about this. The reason we talked about this is because if you came to the Creedmoor Music Festival you could walk up and down the street and see dozens of small businesses out there. When the music festival ends they all disappear. We don’t have a place to support small businesses. ... You might not remember, we had a water plant down at Lake Rogers and Lake Rogers looks great. We spent over $400,000 to plant grass. We could have used some of that money to build buildings where we could attract businesses into the local area to have another revenue stream. We can’t just rely on property taxes to generate businesses. We need to improve small business opportunities in Creedmoor and one way to do that is to have a committee or have the city manager head up an economic development plan and tell the citizens what that entails.”

Wheeler: “I have been involved as a Main Street business for a long time. That is one of the problems we have and that is getting local support. A lot of our community does not seem to understand that when little Suzie wants to raise money for her school and little Johnny wants to raise money for his ball team, the chain stores that come in are not the ones that support these folks, it is the small businesses. ... One of the other problems Creedmoor has is that we are not in the business recruitment business. It would be nice to have these places come, but when we approach them for that a lot of them want to say, ‘you don’t have enough rooftops for us to come in.’ So what we get is an overabundance of the same thing. We have three drug stores and no doctor, no hospital, no anything. We have beauty shops, three or four of those and three or four barbershops. We just keep getting the same thing here without being able to attract new businesses, because the community is not supporting them, but you can’t support something that is not here.”

Agdeppa: “For years I have talked to commissioners about a bowling alley, a movie theater but because there are not enough rooftops it’s news to me. I have talked about the beautification of Main Street because it is ugly, but is not organized for that. We can move Main Street to Elm Street. ... We talk about support of the local businesses and restaurants. That is the main thing to support the people and the business owners. That is how you will bring people in. The number one thing is support of the local people and maybe we can get a bowling alley or movie theater or Chick-fil-A.”

ONLINE ONLY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FROM THE CANDIDATE FORUM

Question: The city of Creedmoor appoints two to serve on the board of SGWASA. What can SGWASA do better to serve out community and do you think municipalities like Creedmoor should consider innovative funding to get our water infrastructure updated?

Wheeler: "One of the problems I think we have with the SGWASA board is that they represent the communities, but they are an entity much like out own city boards. If you don't go to the meetings, you don't know what goes own. A lot of the citizens don't understand the issues that SGWASA faces, the corrections and steps that they have made. I don't feel like the current board we have up there has made a large effort to communicate that with the citizens. I do know with our own board, I started adding a SGWASA report to come from our own two representatives. Out of the three months that we have instituted that, I have got one short report and two no reports. Now the representatives that we have should understand that they represent this board on that board, not the other way around. I think if we can do that, communication has got to be the most important thing, because the citizens are communicating to us the water smells, taste bad, looks bad and we want it fixed.

"I firmly believe SGWASA, especially with their new executive director is doing everything they can to get this done, but they are also projecting a 40 year plan. Creedmoor can't move anywhere until we get out pump station fixed, which will be a five to ten year plan. So, we are kind of stuck on that. 

"As far as innovative funding, I think that is a great idea. Creedmoor would need to come up with ways to get the income to help some of the things going on. One of the issues that we have is there is not mandatory annexation. It is all voluntary. So, when we had our own water and sewer system if someone wanted to build a settlement or a community or housing development, they basically had to come into the city of Creedmoor. They would do it so we would have tax money. As it is now, Creedmoor can help pay to fix the Joe Peed Road pump station, but that basically will just provide water for folks outside of the community that won't be paying taxes, won't be helping us repay this money or repay this loan.

"What I would like to see done is some way we can work with SGWASA, that if we help them fund these things and we add money to it, that would enable us to annex these folks in these communities and housing developments, so they can pay city taxes, so we can provide them the services and they can help us repay these loans."

Way: "SGWASA is in a rebuilding phase with there executive director taking place now . From the outside looking in and not being on the SGWASA board or being part of a board of commissioners from reading the minutes or things like that, there are definitely some issues with SGWASA that they need to work on.  

"As a board, we should have some input, even though we sold the system to them, we should still have input as to what goes own. This is a large community with a lot of people, 42 to 48 hundred people is still a large influx of people and that is just the people that live here. That is not including the people that drive through and stop at the restaurants or service station or things like that still use our water and sewer capabilities. 

"Along with what the mayor said, we need to look at innovative ways to upgrade out water system. We need to look and see if there are any grants possibilities available for the possibility of funding. 

"I am still on the fence about, you can't tell me there is nothing we can do and there is no money here or no money there. It's like we are on a island here in Creedmoor and we have been forgotten, I feel like. It's just my personal opinion. I think everything as far as upgrades and repairs are that direction (pointing toward Butner). The only time you see a SGWASA vehicle around here is if they are reading our meters or repairing a broken pipe.  That is it. There is something we need to do to make sure we have representation on the board, to let them know 'hey, we are here, we are part of it.' We have done our part, but we are still part of it and need to be in the decision making  to grow our community to what it needs to be."

Mims: "Again, I hearken back to the fact that I have attended about 90 percent of the meetings.  Most of you might not know, I sat in the audience when two commissioners made a recommendation for the city of Creedmoor to funnel money to SGWASA to help improve water quality and the Creedmoor Commissioners voted that down. Not only did they vote it down, but they removed those commissioners, saying they were being irresponsible. 

"I read an article in the paper, where SGWASA had continuous fines for four years, before they turned the corner.

"We need to not only have a plan, we need to have representation on the board that insists that you tell the community when things are going to happen. We just can't sit back a twittle our thumbs and expect the water to smell better or taste better. We need to insist on a plan and if it doesn't work totally the first time, we need to make movement. "The mayor has indicated that Creedmoor's economic development  is going to depend on Joe Peed Road pump station. That  has been coming up meeting after meeting after meeting and sitting in the audience hear the SGWASA representative make a report, he never even mentioned the Joe Peed Road pump station. How in the world can you give a report and not talk about the thing that is most important to the city of Creedmoor. Whether we need to ask the county and work with the could to do a bond referendum or look ?. We can not sit back and expect the water to be better."

Kicinski: "The situation with SGWASA and the water is on a lot of citizen's minds. Paying for water that we can't drink although we have been told we can. Paying for water that just had a rate increase and my water bill went from $84 to $105 a month and I am not using more water, but the rate went up, but the water is no better. I have been told not to even give the water to my dogs.

"With the budget being stalemated in the legislature level, we are not going to get those water filters any time soon that Sen. (Floyd) McKissick promised us. We have got to get SGWASA on the Joe Peed Road pump station that Mims mentioned has been delayed to Dec. 2020 now, it was just in the newspaper the other day.

"At the last meeting they postponed that again. It is ashamed, because the people that live around that area have lost the use of their yard. They can't even go out in their yard in the summer because the smell is so bad. This is something that you can put on a back burner. I am a paralegal, I would advise people to file a class action lawsuit, because loss of use, but I can't do that.  

"They also get the commissioners from Creedmoor and all the other surrounding cities that are on the SGWASA board, that was brought up recently that they collect a salary of $4000 a year. The rules say it is supposed to be on a per diem basis. They are not getting it on per diem basis, they are getting a flat rate. It was questioned, I don't believe the citizen has gotten an answer on that issue. I don't know. 

"The truth of the matter is when I moved in, Whitehall has a pump station that does not work either. I have not said anything about it because when Creedmoor owned it, we were told it was from people pouring grease down the drains of their sinks and we were causing the problem at the pump station. 

"I can tell you from walking my dogs in the neighborhood twice a day, that on very warm days there are areas that you should not walk in the Whitehall subdivision. 

"I feel that they are not doing a lot of stuff to repair this problem with we know it's the pipes, we know it's the age of the pipes and they keep saying the water is fine. The water is fine at the plant, but as it comes down the line it is not fine. I'm lucky, my water is not as bad as what I hear other people's water is. It is still not fair. When we send representatives from Creedmoor to a SGWASA meeting, we want them to speak up for the citizens they represent, vehemently, not just sit there. I went to a SGWASA meeting and when they went around to the two Creedmoor commissioners had no questions and no comments and the Joe Peed pump station was not brought up. So, that is my issue."

Agdeppa: "When we moved to Creedmoor, we got our water from Lake Rogers. It has been decades since the water and sewer processing has been taking place. That is the number one question can you drink the water and the rates are so high. But now we are already in this situation with Butner, Stem, Creedmoor and neighboring areas. I don't know. They just hired a new executive director to fix the problem and everything, which he would be able to do it. We had to a solution, what is this mean. The community, Butner, Stem, Creedmoor and neighboring areas, we have to find a solution. We have had other solutions and the new director will be able to fix the problems. We are fortunate, as mayor, I work in Butner and I know the people there. I am not sure the solutions will make it better soon, I believe."

Brown: From my stand point, what can SGWASA do better. As a customer for me, and I work in corporate America. Most corporations have individuals investing money or putting money into something they provide them with a financial listing of where the money is going, specifically. I would like to see from SGWASA for the actual customers, so we can see visually where our money is going. They have raised rates in the past and one of their biggest issues is they are not being transparent enough. One of the thing they can do is show us exactly where our money is going. If you are increasing the rates what are you doing for us. Where are you investing, I want to see that, because I am that type of person and want to see how things are allocated, so that at least it gives us an opportunity to know. I have not been to a SGWASA meeting and it does not seem like you can stand up and ask a question and get answers, so why not have more of a customer forum, where it is just that type of environment or forum for customers to voice their opinion or ask questions and have  them answered at that point as well. I think that is important as we talk about a relationship with our residents. SGWASA really and truly needs to step up to the plate and as city commissioners, we would need to hold them accountable for the things that they say they are going to do. They also need to implement a strategic plan that is not 40 years, but incremental strategic plan where they are constantly communicating with the residents to let us know at this point and time this is what we have done and this is the next step. This is what we are going to be doing moving forward. That forum could be that same type of communication with the customers, so they at least know what is going on. That is a big issue outside of water quality, the issue is they are not telling us what is happening.

I have done some research and there may be somethings that may be able to give us funding."

Anderson: "Listening to everybody, we have a gentleman in the back, Mike Felts, he is sitting back there the County Manager for Granville County. When SGWASA had their problems and their change overs and the director left. He volunteered and went out there to see what he could do to help them out until the new director could come in. Mike worked his tail off trying to straighten things out and I am sure he helped them quite a bit. I do not know, I will be the first to tell you that I have never ever in my four years on this board sat a SGWASA meeting. Now why is that? The input that I would put in at SGWASA would not mean anything. I am not a scientist and not an engineer, I am not anything of that type. Our board members that sit on that board should come back and report to us, but at the same time SGWASA is like a large company. They have members out of Stem, members out of Oxford and everything else. Those are the board members there. SGWASA is a private company. Now let me ask you as a citizen a question. Would you want me to take $2 million of your tax money and go over and give it to SGWASA. There is no guarantee that Joe Peed pump station will get fixed. Yes, I voted against giving SGWASA a dime until they can guarantee. We have to go back seven, eight, nine years ago when Creedmoor sold the sewer and water. First off that is unheard of, you do not sell the only source of income that you got. Water. We sold it for x many dollars, which was your dollars, not anybody else's, your dollars. Not the city, the city did not own the sewer plant and the water plant, you owned it. So would you want me to voluntarily give $2 million of your dollars to SGWASA with no guarantees. I voted no, and I will vote no again tomorrow until they can give us a guarantee on how it is going to be fixed and what it is going to do when it is fixed. I have talked to a lot of people in the community and I am one of them, anyone in the audience can come to my house and drink my water, out of the faucet,  it's good. I have had it tested and it passes, but down the street the water does not pass. Why, I don't know, so I don't attend the meetings over there, because I can't give any input . If you go to SGWASA and look at the plant, you can't do it. So why should I participate."

Wilkerson: "I have heard a lot of complaints, some of it may be good and some of it may be bad. The operation of the water and sewer plant in Butner is going through a rehab condition at this time. They are going to redo the water plant, which would make a better quality of water, supposed to. I think the thing was built in 1939 or 1940 or something like that. It has been upgraded several times and fixed several times, but still it has problems over there. The previous manager left, I don't think it was on his own time, but he volunteered to leave. We have a man now that will look after and try to get the plant to operate and produce the best quality of water that it possibly can. 

"In the past it has been the quality of water conditions were bad. The last 24 months it has been good and has passed the state testing records. Anyone can say what they want to, but they can go check the records, go check the tables, and go check the paperwork that comes from Raleigh. They will find out that the water has been passable for the last 24 months. 

"The money that was talked about giving to SGWASA. How do we know where the money is going if we don't know what is going on over there? They wanted to give them a million dollars at one time by a previous commissioner. Unfortunately he is not around anymore, but to have a condition to where the water is going and what you do to control it and what you do to protect it so it will be a suitable condition for us to drink, to bathe in or anything we want to do with the water. You can't just sit around and say everything is fine, everything is going good. You have to know for sure what is going on. 

"Talking about the commissioner, everyone speaking up. I doubt if there has been a meeting over there that I have not spoken up against something going on or in favor of something going on. I have always spoke up and said my part about what was going on or what needed to go on."

Question: Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town and why would you recommend Creedmoor as a place to live or move to?

Mims: "The athletic fields at South Granville High School to see some competition. Since we don't have a viable park, I said a viable park that would handle individuals that might have disabilities and things like that. I think we need to have something that would attract all of the citizens. Maybe one day the car lot next door might be up for sale and i would like to see the city purchase that and have a general area that is right down town Creedmoor where we could have a Music Festival  and any other type of event that we want to have.

"Not only is Creedmoor quaint, you have easy access to surrounding areas. I'm a big traveler and like to travel so flying and having access main interstate highways is important. 

"I think the people are neighborly and I am seeing Creedmoor more diverse. That is something that I really like because you just can't have people that have not traveled come up with new ideas. You need to have people that have been other places, seen things and are willing to bring those ideas back and share with the community."

Agdeppa: "My favorite place is Main Street. I go to work every day and i jog every day, about three times a week at least. Grocery store, Main Street talking to people, I love it. I am a people person and I love to talk to them at the grocery store and everything like that. 

"Creedmoor has a small town feeling, also low crime. We are growing and diverse and affordable housing. That is what I would tell people. Some have already come and work at the hospital where I work."

Wilkerson: "My favorite place in Creedmoor is at home with my wife. My favorite place in Creedmoor is at the lake, which is being remodeled at the present time with the sidewalks in and the cross walks. Sidewalks coming down Hwy 56 coming all the way back into Creedmoor all the way to the lake. It gives people in Creedmoor to walk a distance from Hwy 56 to the lake to Hwy 15 back to the lake. We are doing what we can to have something so the people can enjoy. A lot of people that walk from the high school to Creedmoor. You can pass through there most any time to see people walking. When we get the other section built, I hope here will be two or three times more people walking. 

"There are a lot of things we can do if the money is available to have the people to come in and enjoy themselves. They have the chance to walk to the lake and to sit down at the picnic area and enjoy themselves, most anything. There are not just one or two things that brings people here, to work here or live here. People want to live here, we will welcome them. If people want to work here, we would like to have them. There are just a lot of things that available if people with work on it themselves. It is just not what we can hand them like that. We can't hand them everything they want. They have to work here and help provide for the city, provide for themselves and prove everyone else."

Anderson: "I have two places in Creedmoor I like to hang out, one El Corral restaurant. I love going in there and sitting down and kibitzing with the people, just talking and I like the margarita's too. 

"We will go to El Corral a couple of times a week. Another place I like to go is the Owl House Cafe. If you want something that is really interesting just go to the Owl and sit in there and drink a cup of coffee and talk to the people that come through the door.

"It is amazing the number of people that come through that door and everyone will spend a minute with you if you ask a question.

"I love meeting new people in Creedmoor and meeting them in a place of business is phenomenal to me. I met Amanda there one night, i guess she would not eat her food because I was talking with her too much. 

"I do talk to the people in the businesses that I go to. I hand out business cards, I have been a salesman for a long time and selling real estate, I always introduce myself to people and tell them who I am. I hand out business cards at the gas station and at the grocery store, so that starts a conversation. Unfortunately, I am a talker so love to walk up and down the street. I had a leg operation, had my knee replaced. I spent my time at the drug store, but not inside, I sat on the bench outside and just talked to customers that went in and out of the drug store."

Wheeler: Really my favorite place is Creedmoor Drug Company, because I have spent most of my life inside that store taking care of the community. I also like South Granville Country Club which technically which is far out, but still part of the Creedmoor area. It gives you a chance to get out and use the facilities and enjoy nature. I am now getting to appreciate the sidewalks, thanks to Kechia. She had got us out and in case anyone wants to know walking from the Food Lion and the Baptist Church and back is approximately three miles and old people need to get out and walk. I am losing my weight a little bit and staying healthy and my wife is worrying me to death to do it more.

"These are areas that can attract a diversity of people to our area. As to why they should come, low crime, recreational facilities, a fine police and fire department. We are just a very nice place to live. We have a little bit for everybody and for everybody there is a little bit."

Brown: "The sidewalks are my favorite because i am a runner a marathon runner and that is how I started my residency here in Creedmoor. Created the Creedmoor Cruisers that will be out in the morning at 4:45 at Food Lion if anyone is interested. That was my way to get to know a lot of the residents here in the area as well as the fact that I am really focusing on diversity. Our group is extremely diverse and that what I love about it. That is what I love about living here in Creedmoor is that we have a diverse community and my other favorite place to frequent is Owl House Cafe because Jay and his wife, Betty are my neighbors. One of the things I said I wanted here was a Starbucks, so that was a close as I got, so that works for us. 

"I actually had one of my closest friends that I work with, they actually bought a house up the road from us and they reason l like being her is that I grew up in Raleigh and I know a lot more people in Creedmoor than I know in Raleigh, because everyone here is so loving and it does not matter who you are or what color you are they are always willing to stop and tell you a story. I really and truly appreciate that especially from being from a younger demographic in this area and I did not grow up here. This city, I make it my own, because I really love it here and I am very passionate about new things and moving forward here in Creedmoor and welcoming other people to come an visit as well as to come and relocate here. The cost of living is a lot less expensive and I enjoy being able to talk to Chief King. When he is at the Owl House Cafe he will sit and talk to residents. I think that it is really important that our leadership engages with our community as well."

Kicinski: "My favorite place to go in Creedmoor is Friday night football games at South Granville High School. I have always enjoyed supporting school sporting events, of course my son played. He ran track. 

"Like Kechia said, you can walk anywhere. We used to have a group of girls that would park our cars up at Ellington-Brim at the time and where the sidewalks ran we would walk all the way up to Food Lion and back, but the group has fallen away. 

"Telling people to live here, I went to New York about a month ago, my sister in law would like to walk, but when you walk here in Creedmoor you know you are safe. We have a great police department. They stop and play with the dogs every once and a while we are walking. We know we are safe, we have sidewalks, cost of living is lower than lots of places. You meet people on the street and no one is a stranger. I am constantly saying hello to somebody. I like to make friends, I like to meet people, I say hello to people all the time. They may not remember me, but I will always say hello. The safety in Creedmoor is really important."

Way: " It is a tricky question because Creedmoor is where you want to be anyway. There is no particular place. It is from hanging out and having conversations at Bobby Ray's shop, it's walking down the street to get a cup of coffee, it's going to El Corral or Finch's to get a bite to eat, Southern States to pick up something that you need for your garden, Food Lion going to the grocery store or going to Creedmoor Drug Store for $.99 hot dogs. 

"It is the community that makes it where you want to be. There is no particular location. Creedmoor itself is where I want to be. I enjoy spending time at home in my neighborhood with my neighbors. We have movie nights outside, we have a projector screen that we set up, we have cookouts. I enjoy working at the fire station during the week. I enjoy taking the fire truck just driving around Creedmoor, especially the subdivisions. You get to know where the streets are so when you get a call you go where it that street again. New streets are popping up all over the place every day.

"Every time you are out an about in Creedmoor everyone is friendly, they wave or they say hello, you stop and talk to the children. It is no where near as bad as going to a hustle and bustle city where people don't even have time to stop and say hello. 

"It is home. This is where I chose to raise my family, this is where my kids go to school. It is home. 

"The only way to explain to people to move here is to bring them out here and let them see it for themselves. Alive After 5 events, things like that, Just the small town feel. It is like everyone knows each other and that is a comforting feeling for people. It's when you can call a neighbor and say hey, I need help. You have people to call instead of saying I really don't want to ask my neighbor because I don't know who they are.

"Creedmoor itself is where I enjoy spending my time."

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