Name as it appears on the ballot: Bill Crawford
Full legal name, if different: William
Date of birth: 1957
Occupation & employer: Foodservice industry
Campaign website: www.commonsenseforpittsboro.com
1. What is there in your public record or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be an effective leader? Please be specific about your public and community service background.
I have a long history as a manager and executive in the service industry. That wouldn’t exist if I didn’t have leadership and interpersonal skills.
2. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am a conservative who believes that government is built on other people’s money and should be spent wisely and only when necessary. My platform is find a way for Pittsboro to live without further tax increases and to find alternative revenue by making the town friendlier to business.
3. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I have supported the building of Chatham Park for a number of reasons. I am comfortable that it’s growth can be managed and implemented in a way that doesn’t have to markedly change the character of Pittsboro as it is now. I enjoy the character of the Town, it is one of the reasons I moved here.
4. The INDY‘s mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?
I believe in a system of law that applies to everyone equally.
5. Pittsboro is facing enormous growth issues if Chatham Park is approved and fully built out. What is your opinion about the necessity and appropriateness of this development? How do you propose Pittsboro should accommodate the infrastructure and public safety needs of Chatham Park?
I think that the developers of Chatham Park have presented a well thought out plan for a development that can bring many positive things to Pittsboro and Chatham County. This would include jobs, specialized shopping opportunities that would not normally be sustainable in the Pittsboro area and a chance for our area to rise above the bedroom community it has become. This is not an overnight thing, it is going to happen over thirty years and if we maintain close contact and cooperation with the developers, I see no reason why we can’t all be satisfied with the direction Chatham Park takes as it grows.
6. What is your position on fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, in Pittsboro and Chatham County? Please justify your position.
There is nothing to frack for in Pittsboro. If someone were inclined to drill horizontally toward Lee County, I would advise them to take their investment and send it to the Cora Food Pantry, where it would be put to much better use.
7. In analyzing the Pittsboro town budget, what services need more funding? What could be cut? Assess the financial health of the town.
Pittsboro has a history of spending cautiously, which has contributed to it’s general good financial health. The actions of the Board over the last few years have taken that into the other direction, illustrated by it’s recent exploration into purchasing decorative crosswalks for the center of town for $90,000. The Board and the Mayor need to keep in mind that they are playing with other people’s money.
8. Pittsboro has received a Retire NC designation, which could make the town appealing to senior citizens. What is Pittsboro doing to attract and retain younger residents as well?
Anybody who is not retired needs a job, and finding more employment opportunities would always be my first priority in attracting and retaining younger residents.
9. If you are incumbent, please share some self-reflection about the pros and cons of the job the current mayor and council are doing leading the town. If you are a challenger, critique the job the incumbents are doing.
The Boards before 2011 would address each budget by asking at least one alternative option to be one with no tax increase. Since the majority of the Board stepped down in 2011 and Randy Voller’s candidates came in, there have been two tax increases in a row. Lower and middle class families have been feeling the pinch from all sides for a long time now, I am not going to ask them to make further sacrifices so we can pay for Commissioner ‘investments’ like more decorative crosswalks.
Pittsboro suffers from too much drama, partisanship and conflict of interest in it’s elected officials. I just want to get the job done. In the private sector, I learned to listen to everybody, talk to anybody that will listen, just get it done and don’t worry who gets the credit. We could use some of that in local government here.