Full Legal Name: Matthew Griffith Overby
Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Matt Overby
Office Sought/District: Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors
Date of Birth: December 31st, 1990
Home Address: 7252 Manor Oaks Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27615
Mailing Address (if different from home):
Campaign Web Site: www.mattoverby.com
Occupation & Employer: North Carolina Department of Revenue
Home Phone: 919-218-5701
1.Why are you seeking the office of Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor?
There has never been a conservative on the Board of Supervisors and I plan on bringing a fresh perspective to the board as someone that cares about conserving our farmland, conserving our natural resources, and conserving our tax dollars.
2.What are the most pressing natural resources issues in the county?
1. Education is one of our key problems. People do not know about Wake County agriculture, the products that are available, or how to buy them.
2. People also do not know about what they can do to try to help with the conservation efforts in our county or that these efforts even exist.
3.How do you plan to address these issues? Please be specific.
1. We must create a marketing plan and advertise Wake County-produced products directly to the consumer. We must also work with store owners to try to get these products placed in their stores. Our farmers are too busy working the fields to be out marketing their products all day – that’s why we need to do it for them.
2. We must go into the schools and community organizations and promote conservation volunteerism, both generally and specifically for the projects being run and promoted by the Soil and Water District.
4.What, if any, permanent water conservation measures should be implemented in Wake County? What usage goal, in gallons per day, should be set for residential customers? Industrial/ commercial customers? How can the county achieve these reduction goals?
As I am new to this field I do not yet know the answer to this question. However, I would like to work with the Conservation District staff, which has the technical expertise and find ways to implement the goals we must meet together while still staying true to a conservative vision.
5.On a related note, which do you favor—voluntary or mandatory measures? Which do you believe is more effective and why?
I believe that more volunteerism and education, in other words self- responsibility, are the primary means to solve our conservation problems, not more “command and control” governmental policies. In this way people will act freely as stewards of God’s natural gifts instead of learning to rely on the government to do the same.
6.Thousands of Wake County residents rely on groundwater and domestic wells for their drinking water. How should the county address the quantity and quality needs of those customers?
Through consistently testing and measuring our groundwater and implementing drought measures when necessary we can make sure that drinking water is both safe and plentiful.
7.Identify examples of how the district can best balance agricultural/rural and urban interests in regards to soil and water conservation.
Wake County has lost much of its agricultural land due to new development. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I will help support our remaining farming families by providing them the support they need to conserve their farm land and remain farming. I remember when the Outer Loop was built near my house and the farm nearby with cows had to be torn down. While encroachment into rural areas may sometimes be necessary in order to deal with the large number of newcomers to our area, it should be done with as little impact as possible, both to farmers and to our natural resources.
8.How should economic incentives be used to protect the area’s natural resources? What are the financial resources for these incentives?
Economic incentives should be used as long as their success can be quantifiably measured. In addition, economic incentives should favor family farms over large corporate farms. Our state’s culture and family-based value system was built on the family farm and the family farm must be preserved.
9.Land use policy impacts the quality and quantity of our natural resources, including drinking water. In light of Wake County’s rapid growth, how should the conservation district work with planning and zoning departments to protect the area’s soil and water from urban runoff?
Whenever municipalities are looking into rezoning land, the impact that this rezoning will have on our area’s natural resources must be studied and the economic effects must be weighed against the effects on our natural resources as well as the small town culture that serves as a balance against the urban areas of the county.
10. Crabtree Creek and parts of Crabtree Valley Mall parking areas consistently flood. Is this an area of concern for stormwater runoff? Identify other areas in the county with similar problems and how they should be mitigated.
Yes, this is an area of concern. I am not yet aware of all of the other areas of concern within the county. One of the problems with the Conservation District is how few people are aware of it or involved in it. One of my priorities is to start getting more people around the whole of the county to be in constant contact with the Board on these issues and to attend our monthly meetings so that if there is a problem in one part of the county, our citizens can let us know as soon as it arises.
11. Assess the effectiveness of the voluntary agricultural district, which is designed to increase the visibility of farms and to support Wake County farmers.
I do not think it has been very effective thus far because in my time campaigning for this position I have had many people remark to me that they didn’t even know there were any farms in Wake County. My main issue in this campaign is to protect and help grow agriculture in Wake County and to be an ally to Wake County farmers. I believe that the Soil and Water District is an excellent vehicle to promote Wake County agriculture through the promotion of local farmers markets and through cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
12.What funding issues are facing the Soil and Water District? How do you propose to ensure the district receives full funding? Are there alternative funding sources the district could explore? If so, what are they?
I am hesitant on relying on funding from the Federal government to provide our services here in Wake County. History has shown that whenever money is taken from the Federal government, strings are attached. In order to make sure that we are a self-reliant district, the first step is to try to find ways to raise money through voluntary functions and donations or other enterprising techniques such as selling merchandise. If that is not enough, we should either find ways to cut our budget or rely more heavily on funding from Wake County and North Carolina.