1. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Cary? If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?
Smart growth — Making sure that we are not growing for growth’s sake but growing in a manner appropriate for our community. Infrastructure — preserving our resources, providing adequate facilities for fire, police, schools, parks and making sure that our roads and walkways are appropriately planned. Advocate — Listening to the residents of Cary and representing their needs. Working with the surrounding communities, county commissioners, school board leaders, and legislators to reach a common goal of making Cary the best place to live.
2. 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 served in the role of Home Owners Association President in my subdivision as well as other board roles, volunteered in various capacities in the Wake County Public Schools my children attended (including initiating fund raising campaigns for booster/band and partaking in the establishment of the Panther Creek Invitational), and am involved in outreach activities assisting local families through my church. I feel it my civic responsibility to be an active member in the community and I enjoy working with others to enhance our neighborhoods. These experiences have given me insight and the ability to listen to many of my neighbors throughout our Town.
3. 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 fair and open minded leader. I work to get at both sides of an issue. In order to represent many people you need to talk with people and seek out differing opinions. I am of the opinion that if something is worth doing it is worth doing right the first time.
4. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
The current hot topic in Cary is about back yard chickens. After researching the topic and listening to both sides of the issue, I do not think that back yard chickens have a place in Cary other than the areas where they are already allowed.
5. While its growth has slowed, Cary remains one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Assess whether its rate of growth is good for the town. Could it be faster, slower or remain the same? How should Cary Grow and what measures should be implemented to achieve this?
District A which incorporates the west side of Cary is experiencing explosive growth that is expected to continue. I believe that there is a need for Cary to continue to expand its offerings of homes and businesses. We need to be sure that the growth is done in a manner that is in alignment with the needs of Cary. Road ways, Water services, Schools, and emergency services all need to keep up with the growth. Growth must be done in a manner consistent with the look and feel of Cary.
6. Cary’s tax rate is one of the lowest in the Triangle and its budget is 25% lower than last fiscal year. What do you think of this reduction? How should the town balance its tax rate with essential public services? What services and projects do you consider essential and need additional funds? What services and projects could be reduced or delayed? Evaluate, in general, the current town budget.
Cary’s tax rate is one of the lowest in the area. It is a fair tax rate given the overall services provided to the community. Every town and City has needed to reevaluate budgets this year given the economic tide. Specific services that the town needs to provide are water, sewer, and emergency services. One service that could be delayed is the automated meter reading program. The payback for this program is 9 years out and this is too long. Doing this in a year when we must be fiscally conservative does not make sense. The money spent on this project could be used to improve our roadways especially in the western part of Cary.
7. In the biennial Citizen Satisfaction Survey, Focus groups indicated they were concerned about the impact of the “transient population” of Cary. There were also suggestions that those short-term residents be screened in terms of a visioning process for the city. How should Cary deal with its short-term residents? What value do you place on their opinions of the town? What impacts have you seen of short term residents? What can the town do to more fully engage those residents?
There are many communities grappling with the topic of “transient populations”. While Cary does have such a population it is not as large a problem as some regions.
8. What should Cary do about the Western Wake Partners’ plans to build a sewage plant in New Hill? What are your concerns, if any, about the plan? If you have no concerns tell us why. Where should a new sewage plant be placed?
From the research I have done it would cost a significant amount of money to place the facility elsewhere. Many hours of work have already been done by staff members and board members who have researched the pros and cons of the location. There are many regulations that must be adhered to.
9. Evaluate Cary’s sign ordinance. How would you change it? What should the ordinance accomplish?
I believe that Cary’s sign ordinance needs to be revamped. I would like to meet with members of the business community to seek their guidance on this issue.
10. While the expansion of U.S. 64 is largely a decision of the N.C. Department of Transportation, as a town council member, what input would you give the state on this proposed project?
After hearing the concerns of many residents including those in Cary, I would inquire about the proposed super road and its impact on businesses and residents.
11. On the topic of transportation, this year, a half-cent sales tax for mass transit is proposed in the legislature, requiring voters’ approval. Would you support such a tax? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Having worked in the transportation industry for a number of years I am a big fan of light rail. My vision of the transportation system for Cary includes buses (with bike racks), light rail, and car pool lots. There is a need for this in our area.
12. Are you concerned about the long-term water quantity and quality of Jordan Lake, Cary’s primary source of drinking water? If so, what measures would you take to preserve or improve it? What is your assessment of Cary’s water conservation ordinance?
I am concerned about the long-term water quality of our primary source for drinking water. To preserve our water source I would like further expansion of the water reclamation offerings, more use of permeable solutions, looking into options of retention of existing trees during development, and working with our business community to conserve water in new ways.