Name: Linward Hedgspeth
Address: 2714 Red Valley Drive, Rougemont NC, 27572
Occupation & employer: International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Manufacturing Quality Engineering
1) Describe your past leadership roles, both in career and community. How will these experiences help you serve on council? Please be specific about how these roles correspond to a council member’s responsibilities.
a) Career Leadership; Responsible for the new product Quality Introduction Process for “System-x” Server Options globally. Introducing the processes and training for colleagues at IBM’s manufacturing sites in China, Hungary and Mexico. Communicating and Training this very diverse group of Engineers, both in their Country and by phone conferencing, for nearly ten years has made me more patient, a good listener and developed my communication skills all around which I feel will be invaluable as a council member.
b) Community Service; currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Rougemont Ruritan Club. Positions held over the past 7 years: Director, Committee Chair, Vice President and President. Serving in these leadership positions and working on community projects, such as “Save the Rougemont Depot” project, has made me very active and connected to my community. Engaging my community from these positions has allowed me the opportunity to share some of my neighbors concerns. These experiences make me want to continue to serve my community.
2) How do you define yourself politically? How have you demonstrated this political philosophy in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am an accountable servant for my community. I believe in the democratic process and transparency of governing bodies. I share my thoughts and ideals, but always do more listening than talking.
3) Why should the Rougemont community become an incorporated town?
I feel that Rougemont should incorporate, because we are in the extreme northern part of Durham County and rarely do our priorities align with the rest of the County.
4) List the three most important issues facing Rougemont, in order of priority. If elected, how will you address these issues? Please be specific.
Three most important issues are #1 water, #2 sewers and #3 land use. We must protect our resources by first engaging Durham City-County Planning Department to understand our zoning laws, benchmark similar cities and do comprehensive research on how growth will affect the environment and resources. Only allowing development projects that will protect resources and environment over the long term, insuring our water, sewer and land use quality remains highest priority.
5) Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
Not aware of any unpopular principle at this moment.
6) If elected, would you support using Rougemont tax dollars to pay for broader law enforcement coverage by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office?
Yes, I would consider that option.
7) Aside from property taxes, what other sources of revenue would you initiate for Rougemont through town council?
Initial sources of revenue have been the one question that has plagued me. I have been considering a farm company, as part of the Township, using donated land rights. Eventually, we could build recreational and business facilities and charge a small fee for service. Ultimately, I feel we will need to be creative in these tough economic times.
8) What type of new development would you support in Rougemont, and where?
Initially, I would support the development of a small grocery store and a medical clinic near the main portion of the Town for easy access.
9) If elected to council, what measures will you take on council to help Rougemont grow with residents and business?
I would negotiate a plan with our neighboring county (Person) to establish an additional source of water. Then bring in those small businesses restricting development to that which does not threaten our economic infrastructure and preserve our current water source.
10) Long-range guidelines from the Durham City-County Planning Department indicate that Rougemont should remain largely rural. Do you agree with this long-range plan, and how do you plan to maintain this vision or change it on council?
Yes, I agree Rougemont should remain largely rural. We will maintain that vision by only allowing development projects that will protect resources and environment over the long term, insuring our rural heritage and quality of life remains highest priority.
11) How long have you been registered to vote in Durham County? How are you registered? Have you ever changed your party affiliation, and why?
I’ve been registered to vote for about 46 years. I’m registered as a Democrat. No, I’ve never changed party affiliation, but I never vote straight party and remain open minded.