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My Message to Mount Gilead

Hello, friends!


My name is Sheldon Poplin Morley, and I am honored to announce my candidacy for the office of Mayor for the beautiful town of Mount Gilead. In a moment, I’m going to ask for your vote, but first, I’d like to tell you a bit about who I am and what makes me the right person for the job.

Like many folks around here, I grew up a military brat who was always on the move. I’ve lived as far away as Honolulu, as close as Cherry Point, and a dozen places in between, but it is in Mount Gilead where I finally found Home. 

My lovely wife, who represents generations of history in this town, introduced me to Mount Gilead more than a decade ago, and I immediately fell in love. So much so, that when the time came to put down roots, Mount Gilead was the only place we wanted to move to. It’s where we chose to raise our family. It’s home. And I have even had the privilege of playing Santa in the last several Christmas Parades in this Hallmark town.

However, I understand that Mount Gilead is not without its share of unique challenges. To face those challenges, we need a clear vision from someone who can look to the future while also respecting the solid foundation of the past. I sincerely believe that I am that person. 

I first began to understand the importance of civic engagement when I became a Mason at the age of 21. It was through the Masons that I learned the joy of service, the value of sacrifice, and the importance of always striving to be a better person. Those foundational lessons have carried me through my entire adult life, and I’m so grateful for them. 

As far as practical experience goes, I've managed several smaller, non-municipal communities throughout my career. I have a long history of work in the administrative field, which I believe sets me apart and makes me uniquely qualified for this position. I’m also a member of three labor unions, so I understand the power that we - you and I, together - can achieve by banding together in a common cause. 

If elected, I promise to never stop working to bring this town closer together. I won’t waste your time focusing on our differences or complaining without doing. I will set an agenda that serves the good of the people, and I will always strive to inject positivity, hope, vision, and engagement into our local politics. I’ll work with the town manager and administration to explore grants and opportunities to make real improvements in the lives of our residents. Things like restoring Stanback Park to its former glory, installing sidewalks in underserved parts of the community, and bringing a Farmer’s market back to our downtown. These are all achievable goals.


Now, we all know that Mount Gilead has faced some tough challenges recently: violence, reckless drivers on our roads, limited sidewalk access, and perhaps most importantly, a growing sense of division in our community. It is my sincere desire to address those concerns, to heal old wounds, and to create a sense of unity. I believe that we can tackle these issues head-on and create a safer, more unified Mount Gilead. But I can't do that alone. I need your support, your ideas, and your involvement. 

We are a diverse community with an abundance of heart and pride. We’ve got a long history and a bright future, so let’s write a new chapter in Mount Gilead's story together, a chapter filled with hope and prosperity for all. 

So, my friends, I'm here to ask for your trust, your support, and your vote. In November, please vote for Sheldon Poplin Morley for Mayor of the town of Mount Gilead. 

Thank you for hearing me out. I look forward to having an opportunity to speak with you!

 Sheldon Poplin Morley

My Campaign Platform

I believe that Mount Gilead is a great place to live, work, and raise a family and that it can be better than ever with a few key actions. I want to make sure that our town continues to grow and thrive, and that all of our residents have the opportunity to succeed.



  • Explore what can be achieved short term from the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, and continue to lay the foundation for long-term goals outlined in the plan.

  • Serve every part of town, no matter what neighborhood. Explore the decisions around annexation in a way that's a win/win scenario for everyone.

  • Explore the Budget to Renovate Stanback Park to include a new playground, pool repairs and ADA compliance, splash pad, better drainage, and pond system for rainwater runoff control.

  • Explore the real cost of sidewalks from underserved parts of town, look for grants to make this vision happen, work with the DOT and town to coordinate walking and biking paths, and increase walkability in town.

  • Put together a committee to bring the Farmer’s Market back to downtown. Potentially coordinate with Montgomery Community College, The Merchant's Guild, Local Farms, and the Troy Farmers Market to bring produce vendors regularly to town. This will require community buy in and community participation.

  • Find ways to help bring extra development funds to places like the Highland Community Center and other community service-oriented organizations within the town so that our working parents can have access to after-school care, kids can have a place to learn and play, our senior citizens have a place to socialize and get support, and our community can come together.

  • Work with the Economic Development Director in Montgomery County to implement targeted social media campaigns to uplift local businesses and bring in more business, food, and entertainment options to help revitalize the town.

  • Explore grants to help restore some of the local buildings and homes, improve services and parks, and give aid directly to where aid is needed most.

  • Work to get high-speed internet access to as many residents as possible by tapping into the state initiatives for this purpose with the Town Manager and administration. There is a clear need for better services and better job availability for our citizens, and we can only get those with access to priority internet and other vital utilities. If we want to keep our young people, we have to create options and opportunities for them.

  • Create a team to work on a business incubator to invest in our local experience.

  • Work on community outreach to have meaningful conversations and collaboration within our town.

  • Work closely with local law enforcement and town management to plan a series of actionable items to reduce crime in this town and bring back the feeling of safety to our residents of all ages.

I won’t make outlandish promises I can’t keep, and you won’t hear me claim I can “fix” everything overnight, that’s not realistic or even desired. My first thought about a “fix” might not be what you consider a solution, which is why we need healthy discussion and engagement. But I can promise to work with the board and town hall to build meaningful progress to achieve these goals as soon as I am in office and in the years ahead of us. I am here to lean in, listen, and then act decisively.

The mayor is only one person, but the Mayor has the power to set the agenda and describe the vision for this town, and to convince the board that the agenda is in the interest of our constituents and citizens. I believe that these goals are achievable and that I have the experience, community support, and commitment to make them a reality. I am asking for your vote on Election Day so that I can work with you to make Mount Gilead a better place for everyone.

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