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Mayor candidate urges lower speed limit

By Dwight Sparks

The Clemmons Courier

Clemmons mayor candidate Paul David Reich is less worried about the congestion on Lewisville-Clemmons Road than he is about the growing drug and heroin problems in the village.

The road’s traffic hazards can be fixed easily enough with stoplights and reduced speed limits, he said.

Solving the drug problem, however, might require a change in the village’s police protection methods. Reich said it’s time to consider forming the village’s own police department instead of relying on deputies serving the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department.

“We’ve got a drug problem here you won’t believe,” he said, citing heroin and crystal meth as the culprits.

He said the sheriff’s department has nearly 60 vacancies that it can’t fill. He called on the deputies to do more to advertise their successes in fighting drugs so criminals won’t descend on the village to do business.

In 1969, Reich enlisted as a Seabee as a mechanic for the U.S. Navy the Marines in Da Nang, Vietnam. He worked for the FBI, the Winston-Salem Police Department and the U.S. Marshal early in his career. He launched a group of insurance agencies, but now he’s retired and spends his time crafting deluxe three-wheeled motorcycles powered with car motors.

He has lived in Clemmons since 1970. He grew up in the Bethabra community and graduated from North Forsyth High.

His home on Middlebrook Drive reflects his patrotism. He flies the Marine and Navy flags along with the United States flag, the North Carolina flag and the Ukrainian flag as a tribute to his Ukrainian-born wife, Nina. Reich said he once posted the Confederate flag at his home and touched off a neighborhood commotion.

“I took it down immediately, and it won’t go back up. I didn’t think it was that big a deal,” he said.

He is the son of the late Elmo and Gayneil Reich. His father operated Modern Service gas station on Lewisville-Clemmons Road where the Clemmons Country Store is today. He has two grown children, Benjamin David Reich of Pineville and Melanie Reich of Clemmons.

“I’d like to do some good in Clemmons. I have time on my hands. I’m retired. I’ve lived here and loved living here. I don’t plan on going nowhere,” he said.

He suggested more civic activities for the community and partnering with civic clubs to offer more for young people to do.

As for Lewisville-Clemmons Road’s much-discussed “Strip,” he said lower speed limits will help. “I would rather see more stoplights and a lower speed limit. 25 mph. They (drivers) aren’t going to do 35. They’re doing 45 mph thinking they can get away with it. Chick-fil-A needs stop light there.”

As mayor, he said he would do more to promote beautification in the village and volunteer trash collection. He said more could be done to utilize Tanglewood Park.

Reich is a tall, portly man, standing 6-foot-6, and he cautioned that he would not be a suit-and-tie kind of mayor. He dresses casually.

“I don’t Twitter. I don’t Tweet. I don’t Facebook. If you want to talk to me, call me,” he said.