Name as it appears on the ballot: Jan Cromartie

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Campaign website:

Occupation & employer: Retired United States Navy

1) Why are you running for the position of soil & water supervisor? In your answer, please explain your understanding of the role and why it is important.

The reason I am running for soil & water supervisor is because I think it is imperative to protect the health, safety, and well- being of all humanity in Durham County. To do this we must attempt to conserve and preserve all of our natural and environmental resources for our present and future generations in Durham County. If we as soil & water supervisors carry out the duties of enhancing, conserving, and promoting educational programs about our environmental resources, sharing vital information, and assisting with economic support in the form of various grants from the federal, state, local government, as well as non-profit entities, and providing technical support by spot checking areas in the community, making in house visits, etc.

We can only do so much with the Covid-19 pandemic present. The team of soil & water supervisors we have on hands are well equipped, technically refined, able bodied, and sound. It is very important for our district to have just an exceptional staff on hand that will work with diligence to conserve our natural resources.

2) What are the three most pressing natural resources issues in the county? How do you plan to address these issues? Please be specific?

The three most pressing issues in Durham County are: the purification of our water, the sustainability of our agriculture for farming, and the cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops, and our livestock, and erosion.

I will address our water issues in Durham County by installing an innovative infrastructure system power by solar energy. This solar can be powered by generators, aluminum poles power by solar in various communities, within the school system, commercial sectors that we have in existence, our recreational parks, in our suburban, rural, and urban areas. The soil & water staff will be educated on the technical installation, information on the dangers if not properly installed. We will set up volunteer compliance training classes for all Durham County citizens, so they can have in house generators. A lot of these solar generators can be installed in house by those who purchase one, it depends on size. They are low-cost generators.

I will address our issues with our agriculture by attempting to set up an individual task-force to focus on financial assistance by grants from the federal, state, and local level. We have been allocated many grants, funds, and other loans to address our agriculture. We have the Community Conservation Assistant Program (CCAP), Agricultural Cost Share Program, and the Agricultural Economic Grant, and there are other grants and programs on the federal level that the USDA have license and approve. The USDA has just recently approved 33 billion dollars in the United States for agriculture and farmers.

I suggest that many of our Durham County citizens apply and submit their applications before the deadline and all the funds are depleted. We have a lot of storm water from hurricanes and heavy rainfall. A lot of that water goes into the Eno River and flood areas like black meadow ridge, hope valley area, and other rural area. I hope we can get special engineers to continue to work on ways we can the flooding and sustain certain parts of our communities.

3) Identify examples of how the district can best balance agricultural/rural and urban interests in regards to soil and water conservation?

 I believe we can educate by proposing a comprehensive and strategic training class aim at assisting those areas on the conservation of our soil and water.

4) What funding issues are facing the Soil & Water Conservation District? How would you ensure the district receives full funding? Are there alternative funding sources the district could explore? If so, what are they? 

Durham County Soil & Water has funding issues, but are very efficient on resolving those funding issues. We have District Supervisors that are very advance on finding funds and grants from all governmental levels, non-profits, and other financial entities. We have the Community Conservation Assistant Program, Agricultural Cost Share Grant, and the Agricultural Economic Grant.

We have 88,0000,000,000 budget for agriculture in our state. We have a share of 33,000,000,000 the federal government has recently allocated to all 50 states. There is 80,000,000 from section 32 of the federal government and more funding coming. We have just recently received 1.5 million to take care of the damage that was done to Grove Park from the hurricane.

5) Many residents don’t know what the Soil & Water Conservation District actually does. In what ways would you reach out to residents to educate them on the issues facing the county and the district’s efforts. 

I will alter the conventional method we use to reach out to all our citizens because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I will try to develop an online stem class focusing on primarily biotechnology. I also would like to develop with the assistance of all our district supervisors a comprehensive and strategic training class online and educate the community on what a soil & water supervisor job entails and our duties to the community when it comes to conservation and preservation of all our natural resources.

6) What is the district’s role in making sure residents water, and including those people who use wells is safe to drink? What role, if any should the district play in safe guarding the local water supply from emerging contaminants? 

Water is very essential to our very existence. We as district supervisors can us solar energy to clean contaminated water, whether it be tap water, well water, or water from our rivers, lakes, or dams. One way for solar water disinfection ( called SODis) uses solar energy to make water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, protozoa and worms safe to drink.

7) Are there any other issues you would like to address that have not been covered by the questionnaire? 

The city water department is closed, so it will be difficult to send out testers for your water, because of the risk of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Comment on this questionnaire at

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.