Monday night at the Henderson City Council Meeting, three incumbent City Councilpersons were sworn in plus newly-elected City Councilman William Burnette.
Sara Coffey (Ward 1 At Large), Garry Daeke (Ward 3 Ward) and Fearldine Simmons (Ward 4 Ward) were sworn in as was Burnette. Burnette won the Ward 2 At Large seat on October 10, 2017 vacated by Mike Inscoe. Burnette was challenged only by a write-in campaign and earned over 96 percent of the 341 votes cast.
In a phone interview Monday afternoon, Burnette said, “I’m excited about it, a little anxious, a little excited, looking forward to it.” He said, “You can do one of two things. You can sit at home and complain or you can get involved and try to make a difference, so I’m trying to get involved and trying to make a difference.”
When asked what his platform is or his projects or his thoughts about where he wanted to head, he said, “There’s three things I think the whole City Council is on agreement on. That’s jobs, drugs and violence.”
He said the City needs more tax base and something needs to be done about drugs and violence and that every city council member he’s talked to is in agreement with that.
Burnette said, “We’ve got to do something.” When asked what can be done, he said, “Part of the problem is people are scared. If they see something suspicious, they don’t want to call the police to come check it out. We’ve got to get — the community has got to get involved. We’ve got to take communities back. We’ve got to get involved. If we see something, we’ve got to call somebody. We just can’t let it keep going. It’s going to take the whole community. The City Council and the County Commissioners can’t do it by themselves. It’s going to take everybody getting involved to take care of drugs and violence in Vance County.”
He said, “In my opinion lack of jobs is why we have drugs and violence. People don’t have anything to do. They’re making money selling drugs on the street because they don’t have any jobs.” Burnette said, “We need to build the tax base so people will have a job.”
He said Mako Medical was a good start, but we need industries to come to Vance County. In terms of economic development incentives, he said if Vance County doesn’t do it, other counties will.