For all the talk about growth in Moore County, one community seems to get overlooked, though it is the fastest growing of them all: Aberdeen.
In the last few months alone, developers have announced plans for building almost 1,000 new homes in the town. Its downtown is experiencing more business activity. Its commercial corridors of U.S. 1 and 15-501 are seeing old lots make way for new projects. And a new school set to open next year just off N.C. 5 will be a dynamic addition to town. Oh, and all this is on top of having the fastest growth rate in Moore County since 2000.
Against that backdrop, then, Aberdeen voters face an election next month in which they will select a new mayor and fill three council seats. The former is no contest, literally. Mayor Robbie Farrell is running unopposed for a fourth two-year term. Unless something weird happens there, he will preside again. That’s great for the town; we have long been supportive of Aberdeen’s native son and his leadership.
The council race has more action. Technically, five people are running for three seats: Teressa Beavers, Bryan Bowles, Peter Campbell, Elease Goodwin and Adriana Marquez Janker. However, Campbell withdrew early on, though not early enough to have his name pulled off the ballot. If elected, he has said he would not serve.
That leaves four — Beavers, Bowles, Goodwin and Janker — competing for the three seats, all of which run four years. Of that group, after interviews with each candidate, The Pilot endorses:
Bowles currently serves as chairman of the town’s Planning Board, and he’s been on that board a few years. Coupled with his professional experience in the construction business, he possesses keen insight into growth, development, infrastructure and how all the pieces fit together. He has put in hundreds of hours working with the Aberdeen staff on a rewrite of the town’s development ordinance, so he is well-versed in the nuances of what development can propel the town forward.
Bowles supports many of the ongoing projects, including the new police station and talks to buy Aberdeen Elementary School once it becomes vacant. Bowles has demonstrated a collaborative spirit and would fit in well on the Board of Commissioners.
Goodwin is the lone incumbent board member seeking re-election. She was appointed in 2014 to fill an unexpired term and won election in 2015. An Aberdeen native, Goodwin has worked with the board the last several years on key projects such as planning for a new police station, merging town fire operations with the now-defunct Crestline fire Department, approving new commercial projects, and upgrading critical infrastructure.
Goodwin wants to see these and other projects to fruition, including the possible purchase of the current Aberdeen Elementary School next year. The town has talked of using that property for a recreation center, an ideal use.
Goodwin is a willing listener, works well within the board, and has the background needed to serve another term.
Adriana Marquez Janker
Janker represents a bloc of residents who are more typical of the folks responsible for much of Aberdeen’s growth these last several years: young military-connected families. Janker, originally from El Paso, Texas, and her husband were both in the Air Force and stationed here. They lived in Fayetteville for a while and then moved here to raise a family. They have two young daughters.
“We need someone who can represent families like mine,” she said.
Janker serves on the town’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and has familiarized herself with many of the issues involving growth in Aberdeen. She would bring to the Board of Commissioners a needed perspective with sound analysis for what could make Aberdeen stronger.