Steve Schewel: Durham needs him

I don’t typically use this forum to plug individual candidates, but I’m making an exception in this case because it’s so important: Steve Schewel is running for Durham City Council. We need him. And we need him badly.

Durham has made some remarkable strides in recent years. Take a quick look downtown for some evidence of that progress. The American Tobacco complex alone is phenomenal. In general, downtown Durham is the go-to spot in the Triangle. Only a few years ago it was considered moribund. How rapidly things can change with a little wisdom, vision and guts among those in a position to make the decisions.

But there is much more to Durham than downtown revitalization. Issues such as our ability to balance rapid growth with fundamental quality of life issues is absolutely critical. Steve is convinced this is one of the top priorities facing our city today — and he is right.

Steve, who among other achievements founded and still operates the Independent weekly and has served on the Durham School Board, believes making our city functional, economical vital and enjoyable for all residents is essential. He is correct to believe we must consider the needs of a broader range of residents, not simply those who have the means to catch a Bulls game one night and hit Tyler’s Tap Room immediately afterward.

I believe significant issues such as the possibility of merging city and county services also must continue to receive close scrutiny. Addressing the duplication of some services could reflect big savings for our community. Why has so little happened in this area recently?

Of course, crime remains an issue, although it’s not the problem it once was. And it certainly is not the problem our neighbors in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and elsewhere would have people believe. Violent crime in Durham is actually down. Property crime is up. But it’s property crime that touches the lives of most people. We must continue to improve in this area.

City dwellers still to pay relatively high taxes. Are we getting our money’s worth? It doesn’t get more fundamental than that.

Finally, at times in the past decade watching the City Council meet has resembled an old Laurel and Hardy sketch. But I can say the following with complete and utter confidence: Steve Schewel is no Laurel. He’s no Hardy. He’s a smart, committed citizen who, if elected, will work his rear end off to make Durham a better place to live.

What more could you ask for?

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