Candidate profile: Ricky Meeks


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Submitted: Wed, 10/26/2011 - 4:00am
Updated: Thu, 11/03/2011 - 4:32pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Election Day is right around the corner, and WWAY wants you to meet the candidates for Wilmington City Council.

Ricky Meeks has become a familiar name and face around town. The 42-year-old was born and raised right here in Wilmington.

“I lived here all my life, and I have seen a lot of changes in the city,” Meeks said. “The main thing about Wilmington is traffic, and, of course, population comes with a city like Wilmington. I’m running for city council because I’m looking out for the future of the city and southeastern North Carolina as a region.”

Meeks, who you can often catch at a bus stop, is an advocate for transportation. The city council hopeful says he will make transportation his top priority if elected in November.

“The number one thing in my mind is transportation; better roads and tourism, maybe one day have a train from Wilmington to Raleigh, and a train to Charleston, SC,” Meeks said.

This election is not the first attempt by Meeks to get on an elected seat. The disabled and unemployed man ran for city council and mayor in the past.

“I ran for city council a few times. I ran for mayor in 2003, ran for New Hanover County School board a few times,” Meeks said.

So why run again? Meeks, with a smile on his face, says he understands some people may not like the idea that he continues to run, but says everyone has the right to, including an everyday citizen like himself.

“We got to remember we have Constitution rights in America,” Meeks said. “My great uncle fought in the Korean War. He was in the US Army, by the way, so that gave me some rights to run as a citizen. People who died for our country did not ask if you were black or white or didn’t ask if you were poor or rich.”

Meeks says he does not feel intimidated by the election process or the possibility of sitting on council. He says he was glad to see so many new faces running this time around, but he hopes in the end the voters will pick Ricky Meeks as their next Wilmington City Council member.

“One thing about Wilmington that we have to keep in mind, that is important to me, is the future of the city,” Meeks said.

39 Comments

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Can you say “Two immense, bottomless wells of red ink for the taxpayer?”

    Think about their impact on YOUR taxes when you walk into that voting booth.

  • Guest 9129 says:

    Ricky is a good guy. I used to ride the city bus a lot and rode with Ricky plenty of times. He always takes what life gives him and makes the best of it. He is the only one of these running that I have seen out and about in the city. He talks to people and listens to people’s views with an open mind. And I bet when he IS elected we will still see him walking around town and riding the bus. About his disability, Make one of the other canidadtes have to ride the bus and walk a quarter mile to their destination in the middle of the summer. Lets see if they can hang. Go, Ricky, Go!!

  • Guest1234 says:

    I agree Gramps… I just CAN’T understand how the others can’t see how ridiculous Ricky truly is. Since he walks ALL over town, clearly he isn’t too physically disabled to work. He has a FaceBook page, so clearly he can read. He can speak and articulate his thoughts well enough to participate in interviews and debates….um, that doesn’t sound like someone who is mentally disabled either. I can’t see how someone who seems to have all of those ABILITIES can’t hold down a job somewhere… it sounds way too convenient.

    I have had a couple of interactions with him in public over the years and found him to be arrogant and pushy. He needs to realize that he is NOT the mascot for Wilmington and NOT everyone wants to encourage his blatant misuse of the funds for those who are truly disabled!

  • Gramps1935 says:

    He’s too disabled to work. But he’s not too disabled to walk around town all day. One day I heard him talking on the radio. He sounded very intelligent. I’ve known him for 15 years. He’s not nearly as dumb, or innocent, as he wants everyone to think he is.

  • rosegarden says:

    You may have known OF him for 15 years, but you obviously don’t KNOW him. No, Ricky is not dumb, he may not be as quick witted as some, but he is not dumb. No, he is not innocent, you cannot live 40+ years, be tormented for who and what you are and remain innocent. Ricky is compassionate, caring, and REAL. He does not pretend to care about Wilmington, he actually does care! He may walk around town a lot, but with no other means of transportation, what would you want him to do? Ricky does something most of don’t… he keeps going, whether he feels up to it today or not, whether he is defeated, rejected, or mocked, he still puts a smile on his face, and takes his umbrella just in case, and he keeps going! I would be proud to call him my Council man. He is honest, and will do what he thinks is best for our town, and he will ALWAYS consider his constituents’ needs, something most politicians forget about after election day!
    Not all disabilities are obvious, Gramps, for example, your closed mind and disparaging attitude have probably disabled you more in your life than his “disabilities” will ever affect him!

  • Guest11221 says:

    OK, what point are you trying to make? I have listened and watched current and past City Council members and Ricky is no more disabled then some of them. Maybe disabled for the current and past members was the wrong word or term. Lets try agenda driven. He has issues, but he cares about this city. Not for more money, or more real estate, but for the city. That goes along way with me!!

  • Guest55555 says:

    I’ve seen you post this same exact message every time Ricky Meeks is mentioned. It’s getting pretty old. You should really try some new material, Gramps.

  • TheUnknownTruthTeller says:

    You coined it perfectly. He hams it up at public events, hoping people will see him as this “Wilmington Mascot”. Ironically, he can be very rude and arrogant, usally to people its safe to bully.

  • Guest20 says:

    Ricky has a DEVELOPMENTAL disability. His disability is in his BRAIN…not his legs (although the nature of the disease could have made it in both).

    For more information about development disabilities, you can educate yourself at this website: http://ici.umn.edu/welcome/definition.html

    The important thing to remember about people with developmental disabilities, as explained on this site, is:

    “People with developmental disabilities benefit from comprehensive long-term services. With such services, people with disabilities are often able to be more active, productive, and independent, which benefits their communities as well.”

    Don’t you think it’s kind of low for you to attack a guy you don’t know personally, who obviously has a disability? He may be disabled, but that doesn’t make him stupid. What’s your excuse?

  • Gramps1935 says:

    His brain is very intelligent, as he has proven, many times. You can call it “developmental disability”. In the old days we called it “Being lazy”. It was usally cured when you realized people weren’t going to let an able-bodied neighbor or relative ride on their back.
    $10 says: Nobody’s ever seen Ricky Meeks and Guest20 in a room together at the same time.

  • PublicAvenger says:

    I bet Ricky wrote this post. It reveals a very highly intelligent person. You can’t tell me he’s not able to do something for a living. Why is this guy taking thousands of tax dollars, from my pocket each year ?

    He’s the biggest fake in the bunch. I have seen him go out of his way to act arrogant and rude to people, when he thought it was safe to turn off the ‘dumb’.

  • Guest20 says:

    You lose your bet. Pay up. I’m certainly not Ricky, but thank you for saying how intelligent my post was. Too bad I can’t say the same about yours (especially the last paragraph).

  • Guest20 says:

    You lose your $10.00 bet. But you’ll never pay up because you would have to admit you’re wrong. I have met Ricky and spoken with him on a couple of occasions.

    A developmental disability doesn’t mean you’re lazy, or stupid. Obviously, you didn’t check out the website I referenced or you wouldn’t make that statement. Or maybe you’re just too hard headed and stubborn to admit you’re wrong. It takes a real man to do that.

  • Guest1234 says:

    Guest20… There is NO need for you to insinuate that I am stupid because you disagree with my perspective… My point is that I don’t believe that he IS disabled…I think he is a phony who is “milking the system”… I read your oh-so-informative link and I think maybe YOU should read it, it proved my point perfectly!! It stated:
    “More specifically, a developmental disability is a severe, chronic disability which results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following aras of major life activity:

    self-care
    receptive and expressive language
    learning
    mobility
    self-direction
    capacity for independent living, and
    economic self-sufficiency”
    Let’s see…
    Self-care – when I have seen him, he is dressed appropriately and neatly and clearly cares for himself in those areas. He is able to do his own shopping.

    Receptive and expressive language – he is able to participate in debates and interviews.

    Learning – He states that he reads books, and he did graduate from NHHS, so clearly he CAN learn. He has certainly learned how to file to run for office and learned the bus routes.

    Mobility – I covered this one before too, he is able to walk and ride the bus allll over town.

    Self-direction – he is able to decide what he wants and make a plan for it. He can set goals and try to reach them.

    Capacity for independent living – He lives alone, enough said.

    Economic self-sufficiency – Well.. as I said, I see no valid reason that he doesn’t work, so a JOB would certainly take care of that problem!!

    There are several employees at Harris Teeter who suffer from various disabilities that are CLEARLY disabled, Down syndrome, etc. I personally know of a man who was left unable to read and suffered from learning disabilities after an extreme childhood tragedy and works at Walmart and the City of Wilmington. I would say that this man has more reason to be “disabled” than a man who has yet to make clear what specifically his “disability” restricts him from doing. This other man clearly has more pride in himself as he has managed to hold down 2 jobs and has a wife and family. Maybe Ricky should take a lesson from him! Maybe we should all rally around this other man instead and glorify him for being a responsible adult as he should be.

    People need to wake up and STOP congratulating and idolizing an irresponsible, outlandish, ridiculous man like Ricky Meeks. He wants to be famous for being famous…like Paris Hilton…and he has managed to FOOL a LOT of people…but not me and none of my friends or family!!

  • Guest11221 says:

    He is a fricken NUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John B says:

    I can’t believe that! Your life is so perfect however, you sure do seem like you are always upset when you make comments on here. I think you are just a grumpy old single man!!!!!!!!

  • C-Man says:

    I thought last week you said you were not a Tea Bagger. Now you say you vote for them. You are all over the place, you know that? Now I’m sure you’ll say something else stupid in your defense. Please, hurry, I can’t wait to see what it is.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    I said I voted for HIM.

    Do pronouns routinely kick your butt?

  • Jr flannagan says:

    Do you even have a clue of what you are saying sometimes??? You contradict yourself all the time!!!!

  • Guest20 says:

    “Berger is real, intelligent and has a conscience and ethics we’ve been missing in Wilmington and NHC for years.”

    Conscience? Ethics? Are we talking about the same person? Brian Berger? The one who stalked his girlfriend with over 100 text messages threatening suicide? The one who damaged her personal property by pulling off her door handle on her car? The one who carved his arms with a razor like a Thanksgiving turkey?

    You are talking about ethics, right? “The moral principles governing the appropriate conduct for a person or a group”? A synonym for morals, beliefs, values, integrity, and principles?

    I would suggest you look up each one of these synonyms in the dictionary to find out their meanings, and then honestly and with an open mind, ask yourself if Brian Berger fits those definitions. If you can honestly say yes, then calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    A real nutjob!

    Exactly how intelligent do you have to be to carve up your arm with a razor blade? Conscience? Ethics? How about maturity and judgment?

    BTW, I do not make one penny locally. My money comes from outside New Hanover County. I’m simply one of the many people who made a big mistake in voting for the weirdo, and will never make that mistake again.

    So if you think the only people who view Berger in a negative light are the local good ol’ boys with their hands in the till, you’re as nutty as he is.

  • betsy says:

    Have you ever been around Ricky Meeks. No way is he any kind of person Brian Berger is…Ricky has a good head on his shoulders and he keeps up with what is going on…Have you ever seen him arrested for anything….GO RICKY GO

  • Guest655 says:

    We need more Brian Berger’s. You may not agree with him, I dont always agree with him, but nobody can say with a straight face that he;s owned by special interests. Berger is real, intelligent and has a conscience and ethics we’ve been missing in Wilmington and NHC for years. Look behind the anonymity of those Berger bashers and you see cowards with their hands in the government till sucking up our hard earned money like pigs at the trough (like “Guest9742″) feeding their greed.

    Berger doesn’t bow to them so they attack him relentlessly. We need to support officials like Brian Berger who listen to the people and aren’t bought by special interests or selfish interests like a marge haynes or napier fuller.

  • Guest9742 says:

    What you have here is another Brian Berger….you’ll find that out after/if he is elected!!!

  • Guest20 says:

    Are you serious? Ricky Meeks and Brian Berger are NOTHING alike.

    Ricky isn’t sending over 100 text messages to some girlfriend and threatening suicide. He isn’t destroying private property (girlfriend’s car) and breaking the law. He also isn’t carving up his arms with a razor blade.

    For you to say such a thing is proof that you don’t really know Ricky. He’s a gentle giant who would never hurt a fly. And he loves Wilmington and wants to serve its citizens. We could do a lot worse…in fact, we have.

  • Guestwit says:

    Actually having another Brian would be OK. Brian made some personal mistakes, but he hasn’t voted to enrich himself or self-dealing for him and his friends and he didnt engage in dirty political tricks like some of his colleauges. So all in all Ricky might be a good option for city council.

  • Guest20 says:

    “How many people do you know who had to travel to Charleston today?”

    Well, If there was a rail connection to Charleston, I would ride it today, just for pleasure. And I’ll bet I’m not the only one either.

    I’m not saying that transportation is our “most pressing need”. I think the most pressing need at this point in time is to get rid of all the current city council and replace them with people who really care about what happens to Wilmington and its citizens. I think one of those people is Ricky.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    If there was money to be made in building rail connections between Wilmington and outlying cities, it would already be in construction using private dollars. These connections to Raleigh and Charleston would prove to be bottomless wells of red ink for the taxpayers much like Amtrak and every urban/suburban light rail project nationally.

    How many people do you know who had to travel to Charleston today?

    Rest assured that these people like Meeks and Padgett, who think “transportation” is your most pressing need, will be wanting to raise your taxes to fund WAVE and their other idiotic ventures.

  • Guest2012 says:

    Yep! Sounds SOOOOOOO Good to me!

    AND, he does NOT have special interests in Real Estate, nor is he from a Real Estate family, and has NO PRONOUNCED VINDETTA’S against City Workers for goodness sakes!

    Instead, he seeks out City Workers to ask, “what job do you do?, What department do you work for, and “thank-you for working so hard in this 100 degree heat today”.
    He actually understands that if we did not have city services, the City would be under garbage and would look like occupy wallstreeters torrential mess in about One Day.

    NOW, that’s a man who should be representing this fair city!

    And, he loves to talk, to laugh, and to dance.

    My kind of “politician”…a regular joe blow!

    Unlike the duffos’ who is running for CITY COUNCIL and denouncing the WORTH of City Staff. Sounds like ‘sour grapes’ for not getting hired by the City when showing up in Wilmington from New York.

    May the Luck of the Irish be with you Ricky and the wind always at your back, my friend.

  • Guest11 says:

    Better a genuine deal like Ricky than a self dealing phonies like catlin or padgett.

  • Guest9999 says:

    GO RICKY, GO!

  • Guest3 says:

    Go, Ricky! Show ‘em how it’s done!

    And please, please, don’t forget that the City has good, quality employees who are constantly made to feel by Council that they have no worth. Please remember that any organization is only as good as its employees, and if you value your employees, you should show them.

  • Guest20 says:

    Great post, Rosegarden. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Das Weibstück says:

    I met Mr. Meeks several times and he is a nice man. Always has a smile on his face. I have a question about his disability. If he wins election will his disability payments be stopped? How does that work? Is he physically able to work for the city? Not being mean here, serious questions. I wish him luck.

  • Guest888 says:

    a person can earn and collect Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income. However, neither of those programs usually pay very much and Mr. Meeks might come out ahead with city pay and benefits. Either way, I hope he wins as he’s truly the most worth and deserving candidate on the ballot. He and Matt Hinson should be elected and the third seat – anyone not development related.

  • betsy says:

    If you are old enough to remember J.E.L Wade who was mayor of Wilmington, you will say Rickie has a lot in common with him.
    Wade had the nickname of “Hi Buddy” because he would say that to anyone he passed and he cared about Wilmington….if you didn’t know him you missed a wonderful person and I feel Rickie is a lot like him…He always speaks when I see him and is always kind to otherx

  • WilliamSmith says:

    I could not agree more!!

  • CM says:

    Ricky would be well suited to City Council. There is no duplicity in him and he seems to have the city’s best interests at heart. He does not seem to be captive to special interests and knows the situation on the ground level. Originally, I think many people wrote him off, but after the antics of “professional politicians” on the local, state, and federal level, things are changing. Ricky might not be the most polished candidate, but I’ll take integrity over polish any day.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Here we have a man who admits that his top agenda item is transportation, yet you disagree with that: “I’m not saying that transportation is our “most pressing need”.”

    So why would you vote for him? How much will his caring for Wilmington produce or even matter if his priorities are misplaced? What’s the old saying; “The road to hell is paved with good intentions?”

    BTW, casual, occasional riders will never pay for the rail line to Charleston OR Raleigh. You will need hundreds of riders each day paying a fair value fare, and those riders simply AREN’T THERE.

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