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  • Writer's pictureLeRoy Cossette

Waynesville's Democrat Mayor Stressed

Waynesville's infrastructure, homeless problems, drug problems, and current Mayor Gary Caldwell have all reached the point of disfunction Waynesville residents are willing to endure.

Our infrastructure, specifically our water and sewage systems, have deteriorated to the point that the city of Waynesville is being fined five thousand dollars per day for non-compliance with legal requirements.

Homeless individuals are overrunning the city and can be observed passed-out in front of and behind city businesses. Individuals with drug or alcohol addiction problem and who threaten the safety of Waynesville residents. These homeless and addicted individuals are being enabled to continue this lifestyle by the current city leadership rather than dealt with in a humanitarian manner to help them overcome their situations or face legal consequences.

The current Mayor of Waynesville, Gary Caldwell, is not only incapable of or unwilling to address these situations in coordination with the current city council but is also emotionally unfit to serve in the vital role of Mayor.

At a recent Waynesville candidate forum held by The Mountaineer, Mayor Caldwell demonstrated his inability to maintain self-control and a mature composure while debating his opponent, Joey Reece. Characteristic demanded of one who holds an elected office which must, on a daily basis, deal with stressful situations.

During the forum, Mayor Caldwell and candidate Joey Reece were debating the progress being made in Frog Level in relationship to its homeless population problems. Mayor Caldwell took credit for the progress being made to resolve this problem to which candidate Reece disagreed indicating that he, Joey Reece, was the one who had taken the lead in the fight to resolve this problem.

Rather than rebut Reece’s claim with facts to support his assertions that he was indeed the one who had taken charge of the situation, Mayor Caldwell became emotionally angry and shoved Reece, pushing him off balance in his chair. He then began to immaturely shake his finger at Reece and verbally chastise Reece for disagreeing with his claim. An act that left those in attendance stunned.

For one in a position requiring the ability to remain calm under stressful circumstances, Mayor Caldwell failed miserably. What the audience observed was an individual who chose to attempt to bully his opponent rather than being diplomatic in his response. This is not what the residents of Waynesville need and deserve in a leader to resolve our city’s problems.

It was evidently clear that of the two-seeking election to the office of Mayor, it was Joey Reece who demonstrated maturity and calmness during that altercation. Joey Reece clearly won this debate and showed that he was the more responsible and mature of the two and is the individual Waynesville needs as Mayor.

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Kristin Whitesides
Kristin Whitesides
Oct 22, 2023

Water is one of our greatest assets in western NC. I’m very disappointed with Mayor Caldwell’s neglect of our water and sewage systems. $5000/day fine for such neglect adds up FAST! Waynesville citizens need better leadership on the water issue as well as the homeless/drug issue.

Those are both URGENT matters!

LeRoy Cossette
LeRoy Cossette
Oct 23, 2023
Replying to

Very well said!

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