MONROE — Surluta Anthony says she’s a public servant, not a politician. How can we know that’s true? A politician wouldn’t have self-imposed term limits like Anthony.
Anthony is running for re-election to Monroe City Council. If elected, she will serve a third term. She has served two consecutive terms beginning in 2013.
When asked about serving three terms, she said three is plenty — one term to learn how local government operates and two terms to see ideas manifest into completed projects. Each term is four years; therefore, 12 total years is plenty of time on council in her opinion.
One project Anthony would like to work on, if elected, is banning plastic bags in Monroe and replacing them with biodegradable paper bags. Her goal is to find an additional landfill which she says the City of Monroe will need soon.
Being environmentally conscious is a priority in Anthony’s campaign. Climate change, in her view, is a big issue the city has yet to address.
Another priority is responsible growth. Anthony equates responsible growth with planned growth. Growth that considers infrastructure, job creation and development, healthcare and services from the City of Monroe.
She is in favor of putting a self-imposed moratorium on developments for at least one year, because she would like to evaluate the impact residential development has had in Monroe. Meaning, the impact residential development has had on law enforcement and emergency services’ ability to meet the needs of a growing population, in addition to monitoring water resources that could be affected by natural disasters.
One way Anthony hopes to gain citizens’ interest in city government is by hosting quarterly round tables where citizens can ask council questions about projects the city has planned and can learn about how city government operates. The roundtables would be different from the Citizens Academy that Monroe already offers. The Citizens Academy is a 10-week course on how the government operates with limited space. The round tables Anthony is proposing would be at various times so that working individuals could attend and space would be unlimited.
If re-elected, Anthony said she would like to add at least two mental health professionals to Monroe Police Department who can provide officers with training they can use when interacting with someone who has a mental illness.
Anthony said she would like to see the City complete another traffic study and explore the possibility of adding public transportation.
Anthony is a Monroe native with historical ties to the City.
She shared how her grandmother obtained a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to house wives and families of Black soldiers stationed at Camp Sutton during World War II. Her grandmother purchased a home on Winchester Avenue, providing room and board.
Anthony attended Winchester Avenue school from first through seventh grade, graduating in 1965. Her parents were born and raised in Union County and her grandfathers both maternal and paternal were small business owners in the area.
Anthony is a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.
Though she has been offered jobs outside of North Carolina, Anthony said she turned them down, because she loves living in Monroe.
“I’ve been here when Monroe was in strife. I’ve been here when we got better and in my heart I see where we are headed,” Anthony said.
Seeing how Monroe has changed and evolved over the decades taught her that change is possible and it gives her hope for the city’s future.
“That tells me and shows me that change is inevitable and that change is possible. It shows me that we are serious about it and it shows me that the work that we need to put in, the vision we need to put in, the objectivity and transparency we need to put in and it motivates me to keep trying,” Anthony said.
Early voting starts on Oct. 14 and the election day is Nov. 2. Anthony encourages citizens to get out and vote. Too, she encourages voters to make educated, informed decisions when voting as opposed to voting for someone because of their last name.