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Editorial: Godley for District 3

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On Nov. 3, voters will cast ballots in the municipal election for Pitt County. Today, The Daily Reflector offers its editorial board’s recommendation in the District 3 race for Greenville City Council.


Voters in Greenville’s District 3 must decide a race between two strong candidates closely aligned on most issues. The challenger points to a culture of divisiveness among council members and a need for more career opportunities in a growing college city that sends too many graduates to begin careers in other cities.

That platform offers voters the prospect of a new voice at City Hall that is consistent on the majority of issues while offering a fresh focus that pledges no political allegiances. It is a prospect that should appeal to voters who are weary of politics that too often arise between the City Council’s respective alliances on otherwise common-ground issues.

Challenger McLean Godley, 23, is seeking to upset incumbent Marion Blackburn’s bid for a fourth term representing District 3. It must be noted that the bitter battles between residents of the Tar River-university neighborhood that defined District 3 races during the last two elections have not defined this race.

Asked about the city’s so-called three unrelated policy, Godley said he favors the city’s former policy allowing four unrelated renters in the university neighborhood, but that he would not raise the issue for further consideration by the City Council.

The policy should not be re-addressed. To do so would indeed serve only to feed the divisive culture Godley is campaigning against.

Aside from that old issue, Godley’s foundational positions are hard to distinguish from those promoted by Blackburn. He supports the $15.85 million transportation bond as a necessary step toward matching Greenville’s explosive population growth with the infrastructure needed to further build its economy. He sees the greenway as a key component for quality of life and economic growth. As chairman of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, he recognizes the value of the city’s investments in that arena.

Godley points to Blackburn’s 2013 vote against economic development zones as a lack of support for growing the city’s economy. Blackburn asserts that her vote was based on her opposition to the Town Common being included among the zones.

Blackburn, 54, has been reasonably effective in representing District 3. As a veteran council member she maintains a firm grasp of the issues facing residents inside and outside of her district.

Godley distinguishes himself by addressing the issues through a well-articulated vision for lower taxes and stronger economic growth he sees as vital for making Greenville a more inviting employment prospect for college graduates.

That vision — along with a strong résumé of community service and a desire to diffuse the divisiveness among City Council members — should give Godley the confidence of District 3 voters on Nov. 3.




A point in Monday’s endorsement of the city’s proposed transportation bond should have read: City Manager Barbara Lipscomb has said a tax increase likely would not be necessary to pay the bond debt.


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as harry said, "so much for #feeltheblackburn"

godley has run a really nuanced campaign for a kid. although i disagree with him on the bond (though i think you can't run in that district without supporting it with more than just lip service), he's a stout, smart, and clean candidate.

oh, by the way, marion isn't using that hashtag anymore, which is good: imitation in politics, particularly brazen imitation of bernie sanders' campaign, only illustrates a lack of creativity.

blackkburn voted for twelve tax and/or fee increases

If she is re-elected she'll be in your pocket again. Give Godley a try. And parking on her own front lawn is her right despite the stupid ordinance that prohibits that. IT IS CALLED PROPERTY RIGHTS!

MT, I'm right there with you!

I'm only pointing out her hypocrisy. Of course the ordinance is stupid; it's a matter better left to HOAs.

Interesting endorsement

I was wrong. good choice. terry Boardman


Marion Blackburn's moral courage, fairness and professionalism represent extraordinary efforts to move our city forward towards economic growth and sustainability. Mr. Godley, on the other hand, adopted most of Ms. Blackburn's positions while accepting significant money from developers and landlords. Ms. Blackburn can be trusted to oppose declining neighborhoods by fighting against "four-unrelated". Mr. Godley apparently believes in "four-unrelated" and seems poised to vote for developers and landlords in the future even though he will "not raise the issue". Within District Three, students are led by undisclosed persons to believe that Ms. Blackburn and others will destroy the singles bar district downtown. Such outrageous rumors are false and cunning. We must vote for Marion Blackburn to prevent further decline within District Three neighborhoods.

Glass House Donantions

Oh, Hugh. There you go again forgetting the facts. Just like you missed the important legal precedence already established before you filed your smear campaign letter to the local BOE. "While accepting significant money from developers and landlords" - Hugh Cox -Initial Campaign Finance Report Listing

Did you miss the donations that Marion took from Tom Glennon (Link Here) and Thomas Taft (attorney/developer Link Here) Haven't these two recently had contruction related items pushed through the city for approval?

If we're going down Hugh's road...

...he should back Terry Boardman because he's cleaner than anyone: He accepts no donations.

Cut out the flattery.

She owns one of the least appealing homes in her own neighborhood, practically parking on her front lawn. Her and her neighbor own homes that would drag down the comparables for the neighborhood. Her five code enforcement violations for parking on an unimproved surface when practically everyone else has a clear and attractive driveway screams of an unwillingness to play by the rules the rest of us must accept. Blackburn isn't a paragon of virtue, just another politician who has reached her expiration date (and Godley will reach his as well, but he's young and savvy).

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