3 village council candidates detail their campaigns
By Dwight Sparks
The Clemmons Courier
Three more candidates for Clemmons village council have submitted information about their campaign to The Courier. Voters will elect three of the six candidates for council in November. Two candidates are running for mayor. Here is the information on board candidates provided by Scott Binkley, Mary Cameron and Lanny Farmer:
Scott Binkley, lifelong resident of Clemmons, has filled for Village Council. The Binkley/Canter family has been part of the Clemmons community since the 1800’s. Scott graduated from West Forsyth High School in 1989 as well as his mother Vivian in 1968. He grew up attending Immanuel Baptist Church on Lewisville-Clemmons Road. “People ask why I’m running for Village Council and my response is simple, ‘I care about Clemmons. Being from Clemmons I want to see it progress and grow while remaining true to its small town, farming roots’,” he said. “Right now, we still know our neighbors, help our neighbors, shop local and support one another. I don’t want us to lose that by being short-sighted.” Binkley said he has never envisioned himself as someone on the Village Council, but isn’t one to back down from a challenge. “I don’t like standing out. I tend to believe that more work gets down by those in the background and I’m someone who likes to get things done. That said, I believe the median is representative of a pivotal point in Clemmons future. I will not sit back and watch the town I love be changed by those who are not listening to the community residents or businesses.” “I’m not against change and progress. I want that for Clemmons. I just want it done in the right way and at the proper pace so that we don’t experience unnecessary hardships.” Binkley lives in the Rollinggreen neighborhood and has two children and a wife, Emily, who is a nurse for Northern Hospital in Mount Airy. He teaches automotive technology at the Career Center High School that educates children from all around Forsyth County. In addition to teaching, Binkley is also a North Carolina licensed private investigator for Advanced Associates. When he’s not spending time at one of this two jobs or with his family he serves on the Boy Scouts of America’s district Eagle Scout Board and is the Scoutmaster of troop 736 sponsored by the Clemmons Civic Club. He has been a part of the Boys Scouts program for over 20 years.
Mary Cameron is the longest-serving member of the council, completing her 24th year. “Clemmons remains a great place to live and work. While other municipalities are raising taxes, the tax rate in Clemmons has remained stable for seven years. Free community events, the community garden and Farmer’s Market offer healthy, family-friendly options for our residents. We have added deputies who are dedicated to protecting Clemmons, a hospital and other medical facilities to serve our health needs, staff to provide additional services and soon, we will have a new library. This summer, Clemmons is the host city for the Cal Ripkin/Babe Ruth 12U Baseball World Series, bringing visitors who will eat, stay and play in our community. New businesses are opening in Clemmons and established businesses are upgrading property, all of which helps strengthen our community and enhances local opportunities. We’ve had great success in the Village and I believe there is more we can do to make Clemmons the most desirable place to call home. That is why I am running for re-election,” she wrote in a campaign statement. She sponsors the Clemmons 101 citizen introductory class to village government. She majored in French at UNC-Greensboro and served in the Peace Corps for two years. She and husband Don will celebrate their 50th anniversary in January. They have two grown children and three grandchildren. She was first elected to the council in 1993. “Clemmons is in an enviable position. We have a low tax rate, a tax cap to keep us mindful of our spending, a healthy fund balance, great citizens and no debt. How do we preserve all this? We build on what we have and add new idea,” she said. The Clemmons charter limits the tax rate at 15 cents per hundred dollar valuation. Cameron said that limitation sereves to keep the elected board vigilant when spending money. “Our current tax rate of 11.5 cents has remained steady for the past seven years, while other towns have raised taxes. Clemmons maintains one of the lowest tax rates and strongest fund balances in North Carolina, which means more money in your pocket.” Cameron said the council is awaiting the results of a N.C. Department of Transportation study of Lewisville-Clemmons Road. The study is expected to be complete in spring and include an analysis of the road’s capacity, future growth and crash data. “After reviewing the new data and receiving input from the community, the Village Council will make the final decision by Sept. 1, 2018. If changes are warranted, construction would not begin until 2023. In the words of Pat Ivey, Division 9 Engineer, ‘in the end, it will be up to the community to decide whether or not they want it’.” She called the village neighborhoods the “heart and souls of Clemmons” and encouraged home owner associations to send representatives to council meetings. She is a member of the Clemmons Rotary, the Forsyth County Library Board, the Friends of the Clemmons Library board, the Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center Foundation and is a delegate to the Piedmont Triad Regional Council.
“My wife, Mary, a retired RN, and I moved to Clemmons in 2008 after eight years in Knoxville, TN., and we recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. Our first daughter, Dana Logan, teaches 5th grade at Morgan Elementary. She has two daughters, Kelsey and Katelyn, both West Forsyth alumni. Brandi Koontz lives in Greenville, SC, and she and David have a daughter, Madison and a son, Brennan, both high school students. We have been members of Calvary Baptist Church since 1972 where I have served in numerous leadership and service capacities. I retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2004 and we have spent many years in volunteer and mission efforts around the US and in Europe and Asia. You can find me often working in the dining room at our new Chick-fil-A. “I was elected to a two year term on Council in 2015 in my first bid for public office. The past two years seemed fast and full as we tackled many new requests for development in our great Village. Learning had to come quickly. Working with the other four Council members has been a joy and a distinct privilege for me. This group has always been prepared and that has encouraged me to do the same. While we don’t always agree, we have held each other in very high regard and most generally support the majority decision. My observation of past councils was that this was not usually the case. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to work with this group of public servants and would look forward to another opportunity. “Clemmons is a wonderful place to live. Our quality of life here is excellent. Our Village staff gets so much done for our citizens for one of the lowest property tax rates in North Carolina. This level of efficiency takes a lot of planning and hard work and I have nothing but loud praise for them. “I have made it my priority to study the issues presented to us and to base my decisions on the facts of each case and not my personal emotions or predetermined ideas. I believe that is what the citizens of Clemmons would expect from each of us. My commitment is to continue that practice if I am blessed with another opportunity to serve. Lewisville-Clemmons Road safety will continue to be a very serious topic in the coming year. Evaluating the data that DOT is currently compiling and making the right decisions will have dramatic impact on all citizens for decades to come. Now is the time for cool heads to make fact-based decisions. The safety of my family, your family, and all our citizens and businesses is paramount. We must get it right. “It would truly be my honor to continue to serve all the citizens of Clemmons as your Councilman.”