Since it’s early November and an election is just around the corner in many municipalities, it should come as no surprise that area political battles are heating up.
That’s evident in one political sign in Stokesdale that has quite a few people talking. The sign is the result of a political feud going on between two men: Stokesdale Mayor John Flynt and Summerfield Town Councilmember Tim Jones.
Usually, campaign signs are in favor of a candidate; however, Flynt has constructed a large sign and placed it prominently in his yard that reads in all caps: “AS MAYOR, I WILL NOT VOTE FOR: TIM JONES, RANDY BRASWELL. ASK ME WHY!!!
Recently, Stokesdale resident Mary Jordhal put up a sign that stated she “WILL VOTE FOR TIM JONES, JIMMY LANDRETH AND RANDY BRASWELL. Her sign also states, “ASK ME WHY!!!”
Braswell and Jones are three of eight candidates running to fill three at-large seats on the Stokesdale Town Council.
Jones, a very outspoken current member of the Town Council who’s hoping to hold onto his seat, has had a whole lot to say about Flynt – and vice versa.
In recent months especially, Jones has been very vocal about complaints regarding the way Stokesdale is being run. He’s argued that a new town attorney access policy was implemented to keep him in the dark, and he’s been highly critical of what he calls the “big spending” ways of Flynt and the other Stokesdale councilmembers. Jones has also argued that Stokesdale paid some inflated landscaping bills that were completely unjustified.
According to Jones, the mayor has blocked his calls – which means he can’t get access to the town attorney because that policy calls for councilmembers to arrange attorney meetings and questions by going through the mayor.
Jones said this week that the mayor’s sign is just one example of that dispute between the two.
“I get the feeling that I am being kind of railroaded,” Jones said of his relationship – or, rather, lack of one – with Flynt and the other town councilmembers.
Jones said he’s the only true conservative on the board and the other councilmembers, including Flynt, don’t like it when he points out things like “high priced” landscaping payments the town has made that Jones argues are highly questionable.
Flynt said he put the big sign up because he has had it with Jones and his negativism. Flynt said he ran the sign by Guilford County Election Director Charlie Collicutt and said it complies with the law – though he knows the sign is causing a lot of raised eyebrows.
Flynt said he’s happy to tell people why he won’t be voting for Jones.
“He brings a lot of negativity to the council,” he said. “He votes no on everything.”
The Stokesdale mayor added that that even includes routine housekeeping matters like setting meeting agendas.
“And he doesn’t trust anyone,” Flynt added.
Flynt said Jones doesn’t trust the town attorney, the town clerk or just about anyone else in Stokesdale town government.
Flynt said he had in fact blocked his number on his personal phone.
“Yes, I blocked his number,” Flynt confirmed, adding that Jones would call at 10 at night or even nearly in the middle of the night.
The mayor also has a list of reasons why he does not wish to see Braswell on the council.