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Matthew Turner: Transparency, affordable living, neighborhood watch for alderman seat


Ty Roush   | Black Mountain News

Black Mountain News will be doing profiles of all candidates for the three open Board of Aldermen seats.

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Matthew Turner has lived on the same street in Black Mountain since he was 3 years old. Before those first three years, he lived in a separate home in a different part of town.

One of nine candidates for the three open Board of Alderman seats in November’s municipal election, Turner says he’s looking forward to improving his hometown community. With three kids of his own at home, he wants to improve their lives.

“I want them to grow up and have the same experiences I did and have a great town to live in,” Turner said.

He says the main problem in town is a lack of transparency with the board.

“Really, the only (member) where the community even had input was back in the spring when Carlos Showers passed,” Turner said. Jennifer Willet’s appointment featured a list of candidates and comments from the community before “somebody nominated one of those naturally voted on."

Nothing would impact the town more than providing the town and its residents a voice, he said.

“It’s not what the (board members) want,” Turner said. “In this position, it’s to be what the people in the town want.”

Turner, a 2006 graduate of Owen High School, has been coaching at the school for the last 14 years. Currently an assistant with the football team, he says he has spent time with the basketball team. He also serves as a board member for the local youth baseball league and as commissioner for its youth football league.

He plans on continuing to work with the development of the town while still providing equal access to new properties.

“I believe that, and I know a lot of people that are from here, it’s got to the point now to where (working families) can really not afford to live in Black Mountain,” Turner said.

To do this, Turner says he would want to have developments that provide a percentage of income to neighboring homes.

Even as he hopes to have his hometown be more affordable, he says he wants to make it safer. A new neighborhood watch service, along with a cooperative effort between residents and police to prevent crime.

“You can kind of work together and watch out for each other,” Turner said. Meetings would be held with community watch leaders to identify areas needing more coverage.

He also hopes to provide community service opportunities for the youth.

“I think a lot of people would be grateful” for a program that allows the youth to “help these people out,” Turner said. “It would also help teach all these younger guys an early responsibility and maybe just keep them out of trouble.”

In the case of an unsuccessful bid, Turner said he will continue to build on his hometown.

The hometown he hopes to reinforce for his children.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Turner said. “I’m invested to be here.”