Mayoral candidates across the region were asked to respond to one question: What is the most important issue you'd tackle if elected mayor? The election will be held Nov. 3.
In Fayetteville, you have homeless people, you have children going to school hungry, you have a lack of infrastructure, you have employment problems. You have increasing drug and domestic violence problems. The list goes on and on. The one element that is left out of the city's strategy in the love that one has for his fellow human being.
I do not think you can legislate morality, but I do believe that you can create an environment where faith, trust, salvation, and love for your fellow man can be a centerpiece. When these elements are established, I believe a new attitude for accomplishment can be obtained. New attitudes to serve other will flourish. At some point, we as a city will proper together or even suffer together. Whatever happens, we do it together, knowing that there is always, a genuine love and respect for each and every citizen of the city. The city serves the people, not the other way around.
The city council has 19 issues that they have identified. I see at least 10 others that have not been addressed by the city. If you get to the heart of each issue, it is basically to make life better for the citizens of Fayetteville. If we make Fayetteville the city of love, many of our problems will improve.
It will takes some time and it will not happen overnight. Someone needs to make that move, and I propose we start it here and now, and I volunteer my skill and talents to help make it happen.
By advocating a finite limit for both physicality and population density within the Town, we present ourselves an opportunity to craft a new way of living: the working towards perfecting of the urban experience. The Town can begin this process by ceding to Orange County the EJT provisions currently in effect.
As part of the Carrboro 2060 Plan, Limits conceive the townscape as a finite and manageable place which is oriented towards the well-being of its residents; the continuous nurturing of its environment and businesses; and the more efficient and economical management of Town fiscal resources. While it is a sharp veer away from the business-as-usual way of thinking about town governance, it is in line with an understanding that global problems have local solutions.
Integral to the size definition of the Town is a concomitant covenant with Southern Orange County that the rural nature and economic orientation of itself maintain as it is. The current well-balanced synergy between Carrboro and Southern Orange residents and businesses and farms and dairies deserves whatever legal and legislative initiatives we can create to ensure that the year 2060 sees this area looking pretty much as it is now.
Size limits do not, however, mean anti-growth. Within the Town limits is room for 25% growth of the intelligent sort. And the opportunity to create a focused Carrboro style which will be world focused and world featured.
All of the Carrboro candidates in the political forums agree, 90% of a Carrboro tax burden (one that has increased 44% in the past 6 years) falling on residents is bad. Yet, no one wants to admit that those sitting on our governance board created this imbalance. For over the past decade, Carrboro officials have tried the same old tired economic development policies. The result has been to institutionalize the tax base imbalance. Few want to do business here.
The answers to our problems don’t lie with those elected officials who have tried and failed.
I believe that as a town we must engage others outside Carrboro and stop the attitude of “we know better than you”.
We must reform our economic development policy from “it’s a privilege for us to let you do business in our town” to “how can we work together to see if your business will thrive here.” Bartering vegetables and bartering home raised and slaughtered chickens among ourselves won’t solve our problems.
We must engage UNC to get our share of direct taxable benefits from Carolina North. (Carrboro gets no positive impacts from the visible phases of Carolina North.)
We must engage Chapel Hill to find municipal service cost-sharing that’s mutually beneficial to both towns. (Even Chapel Hill Councilman Mark Kleinschmidt has openly said, he couldn’t get former Carrboro Mayor Mike Nelson to talk publicly about such cost-sharing.) We must put such rivalry and/or insecurity behind us.
It’s to engage others outside Carrboro and fully connect our town with them. It’s time to engage those outside government as well as those inside. It’s time to engage those we with which we differ, as well as those with which we agree.
We must connect our town to others, both locally and regionally, while keeping our character.
So, you ask what I would fix first – I would make sure that the citizens of the town feel as if they are heard, feel important, and that they have a say in the town through their elected mayor!!! My philosophy is to actually go out to their house and sit down at the kitchen table, so the town can find out what they need to done – I will not force a citizen to come to the town meeting and plea their case. Rather have them their to follow my lead, I want to bring the customer service back to public service!!!
It is our last chance, we must take the time to proactively prepare with a one year moratorium on new residential development, address the need for more roadways by talking with the N.C. Department of Transportation, bank land for additional schools for our children, secure more land for much needed athletic fields before it is too late, and reduce your taxes.
As part of my 17 years experience as Mayor I diligently worked with others for 7 years to bring about the N.C. 55 bypass and worked on average 4 years, on each, to bring about Holly Springs Elementary School, Holly Ridge Elementary School, and Holly Ridge Middle School, and to put Womble and Bass Parks in place. It takes a focused dedicated effort to bring about these much needed Quality of Life resources. We must not take our eyes off the ball ever again by putting the interests of developers before what’s in the best interest of our residents.
Most importantly, I will work to maintain my record of never having voted for a tax rate increase. Since taking office in 1997, I have never voted to increase the tax rate in Morrisville. It is important to focus on the candidate with a proven record of being fiscally responsible while not impacting our excellent quality of life in Morrisville. My opponent has no record. During the economic recovery of our area we will need to think of new ways to pay for some of the programs and events that we currently enjoy. I will work with our business community and regional partners to keep Morrisville moving in a positive direction while maintaining a low tax rate.
I believe that all towns, not just Wake Forest, need to begin to implement plans and develop processes to prepare for a severe economic downturn in the next two years. I recommend that Wake Forest strive hard to retire its $31 million debt and get its balance sheets back in black. This will include reviewing the town's Renaissance Plan and asking, "How can we first save the money for these projects before we spend the money on these projects?"
At the same time we should look into the ordinance and code books and ask, "How is Wake Forest government a hindrance to the spirit of local entrepreneurism and free enterprise?" Then we get those stumbling blocks off the books. During a downturn, Wake Forest does not need to be the difficult place to develop business that it currently is.
Lastly we have to ask ourselves, "How can we create a self-supporting, sustainable Wake Forest?" Over the past decade, Wake Forest has become a very nice place to sleep. However, we rely far too much on support from outside our community. In the event that the support chain from those external sources starts to break down, Wake Forest is currently positioned to be on the receiving end of that collapse. My "Transition Town: Wake Forest" initiative will help lessen the impact of economic downturn and supply chain collapse on the town.
I'm sure that if we simply wait for all this to transpire, we'll be caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. Local governments have proven time and time again to be reactionary rather than proactive. As a Boy Scout back in the 1980s, I have taken the Scout Motto of "Be Prepared" to heart and will bring this message to all Wake Forest.