Greenville Mayor Pat Dunn, along with mayoral candidates Robert O'Neal and Allen Thomas answered questions and discussed what they feel are the most important issues facing the city at a Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday afternoon with early voting starting Thursday October 20th.
Job creation was one of the main focuses. Mayor Dunn says council members need to keep working with the chamber and existing development commissions to make Greenville attractive for new businesses.
"We're continuing to do some of those issues such as improving neighborhoods, we've added some greenways, and improving our transportation" said 2-term incumbent Mayor Dunn.
"We've got to put an environment where entrepreneurs will come to work and understand that you know, if you've got five or six people that want to start a small business, that's where it starts at," said O'Neal.
"We've got to step up and I'm going to make it my mission to go out as a former job recruiter for the state of North Carolina and work with commerce and bring living-wage jobs to Greenville," said Thomas.
Another hot topic was crime.
"The reporting of it is poor. I think they need to do something about that. I've witnessed situations where people should have been arrested for assault and they weren't." said O'Neal.
"We clearly have to do something on crime. We have a desperate situation. We have a lot of families in certain areas, at-risk families, and we have to do more to go after crime." said Thomas.
"Violent crime is down. It's been coming down for 6 years. It's not where we want it to be. That's not to say that it's not serious - it is, but we are working on it. We've done a lot of things. We've done a lot of youth programs." said Mayor Dunn.
O'Neal says the number one priority for Greenville is jobs while Dunn says it's promoting the high quality of life and Thomas says it's the fact that a property re-evaluation is coming up in December.
Early voting in the election starts on Thursday and lasts through November 5th. Election day is November 8th.
Three Greenville mayoral candidates will gather Tuesday on the same stage.
Incumbent mayor Pat Dunn and challengers Allen Thomas and Robert O'Neal will all be speaking at the Chamber of Commerce Power Luncheon Tuesday.
Early voting begins Thursday for the Nov. 8 elections.