Q & A

If you have questions to ask Mayoral Candidate Rob Wagman, please fill out the form on this page and include your question so he can include it in the future on this page.
The following questions have been asked while meeting people at their homes, at KM events and at various local businesses.

Why are you running for mayor, did you lose a bet?

I understand the question and the sincere heart of the notion that the role of mayor isn’t exactly glamorous, and that running for this position isn’t for everyone. While the KM business owner was being somewhat humorous when he asked this question, there was a bit of truth underneath the curiosity of it.

I’ve made some of the best decisions in my life on April 1st. On April 1st of 2012, I asked a young lady from Kings Mountain to marry me, and she said yes. I had known Sarah Lee Owensby at that time for eight years.

On April 1st of this year, I had announced that I was running for mayor of this fine city, Kings Mountain, and many people insisted that it was an April Fool’s Joke, but it was not. Our current mayor wrote kind words on the post and gave his endorsement, which he has also done now publicly and face to face.

The short answer is simple. I feel called. While I have no political background, and before April 1st didn’t have much in the way of political aspirations, to not run would be denying the calling that is presently on my life. I do not fully know the reason I’ve been called to run, but I am fully aware that who God calls, He equips. As a man of great faith, I am confident in the road He has me on.

If elected, what do you believe would be the first thing the citizens of Kings Mountain notice about your leadership style versus styles of the present or past?

Not only would it be the first thing detected, I believe it would be so early in my time-in that there will be a sigh of relief. The transparency and communication from city hall to the people who reside here is not the best. There are things that happen in this town that seem to come out of nowhere, yet we know that there had to be a meeting about it or some disclosures that didn’t make it to the people before the event took place.

As I go door to door, citizens have concerns over the recent rise in their utility bills, and some have sought answers, yet none were given that satisfied them without an insult to their intelligence. When the Midpines trash facility was closed, people living nearby on Margrace hadn’t heard of the problems that were communicated after the fact and only saw a notice of the closure on the same day it was closed.

In both cases, unsatisfactory communication could make people suspicious. The gentleman who brought the Midpines facility close to my attention was told by the city that this is a county decision and has nothing to do with the city. I agree that the recycling center falls under the jurisdiction of the county and not the city, but do not agree that the city knew nothing about it closing before the day it actually closed.

As for the utility bills, there are now enough online comparisons to the increases from the city vs Kings Mountain residents who have Duke Energy who have not seen the same percentage of increases this summer that an answer from the city that “it’s been a hot summer,” isn’t leaving residents feeling satisfied.

Residents near Hounds Drive-In brought up suspicions of the way Hounds had closed so abruptly after they had heard it was to stay open and be operated by the Browns for another five years. According to the newspaper articles, zoning and interferences from city and county officials was the reason cited for the drive-in to have to shut down so fast.

Ask the current councilmen and women how they voted on the early Hounds closure, and you’ll find out that there was never any discussion or any such vote. So how does that piece of information get to our local newspapers as fact? Who is in on it, and who perpetuated it. The answer to that is the exact reason why we live in a city that questions the transparency of city council. 

The communication is poor, and mostly there isn’t any. This would change on day one.

How would you effect change, since the role of mayor doesn’t even have a vote on most issues?

I’ve learned quickly from meeting people face-to-face that there is a belief from many that the mayor is a position of great power, wielding a heavy hand and controlling the city, the councilmen, the police and fire departments and that is not the case.

Kings Mountain is governed as a city manager led government and it appears that in recent years, who is really in charge has gotten muddled and a good portion of the people we are elected to serve have a distorted view of what the role of mayor is.

On paper, the role of mayor is the face of the city. The mayor will often be the one seen on the news when something of significance happens in a town, and the mayor will cut ribbons and shake hands and make googly eyes at the new baby; but it is true that as for the actual governing, that is not the role of mayor, but instead city manager.

So, to answer the part about how would I effect change as mayor is that I will serve people over the politics of this city, and despite not having a vote unless there is a fluke outcome where things end up in a tie, change is effected by speaking up. You don’t need a vote to make a difference, all you need is a voice and an opinion. I have both of those and when it comes to the good of the people I would be serving, I will use my voice, and in cases where it’s needed, I will utilize my outside voice even when we’re indoors.

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