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City Council Candidate Q&A: Clifford Barnett

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 18, 2021
This year’s municipal elections for the city of Wilmington include candidates for city council and mayor.
 
The Wilmington City Council has three open seats with eight candidates running. Those include: Clifford Barnett (current councilman), JB Brookins, Paul Lawler, Charlie Rivenbark (current councilman), Angie Ulmer, Jonathan Uzcategui, Luke Waddell and Philip White.
 
For the mayoral seat, current Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo is seeking another term while Harper Peterson, a former state senator, is also pursuing the mayoral seat.
 
Early voting started on Oct. 14 and Election Day is Nov. 2. To look at sample ballots, check voter registration status, voting options, polling places and more, visit the New Hanover County Board of Elections website.
 
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal sent questions to all city council and mayoral candidates and will be running a different candidate’s responses every day on our website.
 

Clifford Barnett - Wilmington City Council

Name: Clifford Barnett
Occupation: Pastor, Warner Temple AME Zion Church in Wilmington
Political experience: Wilmington City Councilman (4 years)
 
GWBJ: What are your top economic development priorities?
Barnett: “My top economic development priorities are to continue to grow small businesses throughout our city. I am committed to supporting small businesses and also to promoting long-term investments that benefit the growth of our economy. I believe working in partnerships with private and public organizations will help to grow our economy so we may be more competitive throughout the region.”
 
GWBJ: If elected, what are two goals you would like to have completed by the end of your term?
Barnett: “lf elected, two goals I would like to complete are 1) to improve and expand affordable housing in the city; and 2) to see the completion of the Holly Tree Road to Masonboro Loop Trail.”
 
GWBJ: How can the community address the issue of a lack of affordable housing?
Barnett: “To address the needs of a lack of affordable housing, the community must, first of all, understand what affordable housing really means and the multi-faceted approaches one must take to meet the needs. It is not just building low-income housing, but it is making homes available for working citizens like police personnel, teachers and other first responders. Member of the community must work with partners and other stakeholders, like schools, colleges and businesses to prepare people for jobs that pay a higher living wage.”
 
GWBJ: From roads to bridges to more accessibility, what are some of your infrastructure concerns and ways to deal with them?
Barnett: “Streets, stormwater and public transportation are some of my infrastructure concerns for our city. Some of the ways I propose to deal with these are:
 • Preserve and rehabilitate some of our streets before they cost more to redevelop. The council currently has an excellent plan to do that. The council must monitor the progress and make sure the work is being done.
• Continue to work with partners, such as N.C. Department of Transportation and the county to determine the best approaches to alleviating our stormwater challenges.
• Follow the recommendations from the transportation committee to improve ridership and make public transportation regional. The committee consists of members of the community, members of city council and council commissioners and some their staff.”
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