Name on ballot: William Crawford
Date of Birth: 2/8/57
Home address: 44 Hawk’s Spiral Way, Pittsboro, NC
Campaign Web Site: www.billcrawfordformayor.com
Occupation and employer: Manager, Apple Gold, Inc.
Home phone: (919) 542-4739
Work phone: (919) 704-6742
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 been managing people all of my professional life. I know how to talk to people, to get them to work as a team and to get the most out of them. I have also worked ceaselessly in politics and in political campaigns as a volunteer for years.
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 understands that neither end of the political spectrum owns the truth, they simply approach questions from varying premises. Being that the office I am running for is a non-partisan one, this will be essential to function. My political philosophy is probably reflected in my primary focus in office being respect for the rights of property owners and the reminder that it is never the government’s money that they are working with, it is the taxpayer’s.
3. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
There will very likely be times in the near future when a development proposal that is wanted by many people simply will not be feasible presently because the water and wastewater capabilities of the town are not ready for it.
4. The Independent’s mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?
I would not be able to answer this, until the Independent filled me in on what exactly they were looking for in the goal of a “just community”, which, as stated, is a really subjective concept.
5. Do you support Chatham County’s recent use of stimulus funds? Why or why not? How would you have used those funds differently?
I think the “Stimulus” Bill was misnamed. It should have been labeled “The State and Municipal Budget Aid Act”. Given the drastic drop off in tax revenue in many States and localities, along with their requirements to balance their budgets, this may have not only been necessary early this year, but would have found some Republican support under that name. Chatham County and Pittsboro have both felt the pressure from this recession, and the receipt of Stimulus money recently by the town for it’s water treatment plant was a welcome thing.
6. In the past, residential and commercial growth was held back by wastewater and sewer plant inadequacies. The recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the sewer plant will allow approved projects to begin. But. What about future residential and commercial growth? How will you ensure the sewer plant and wastewater treatment stays on par with the county’s growth?
I think you have the cart before the horse with this question. Future development will not be possible until the wastewater capabilities can handle whatever growth is being proposed. When that capability is increased in Pittsboro (and it will be), the question will then be, how much growth do we want, and how can we control it?
7. We are in a national recession, and more than half of Chatham County’s residents travel outside the county for work. How do you plan to bring more jobs to Chatham County? How will you encourage economic growth?
I will encourage local economic growth by first helping the good people in Pittsboro and Chatham who are working tirelessly at present on the water problems, and then by holding regulation of the growth to whatever minimal level I think the residents will allow.
8. Does Pittsboro need a downtown revitalization? Why or why not?
Pittsboro is one of many towns who have problems in this recession with stores closing in the town’s center. Than answer to this is similar to the previous question. While the character of the Town circle is wonderful at present and should not be changed, empty storefronts do detract from it.
9. Do you support the proposed Major Corridor Plan for the county? Why or why not? How will you ensure Zoning and the Land Conservation & Development Plan required to implement the Major Corridor Plan, is equitable and fair to Chatham County’s citizens?
I think the Major Corridor Plan means well, but is a bit of an over reaction to the urban sprawl that exists in some towns due to more unregulated development. I think the plan needs to be reworked with more of a respect for the rights of property owners in mind. Nobody here wants unregulated growth, and there are many ways to work with property owners on getting things done with a mind to the environment and the esthetics of what a properly planned development can flower into for a town.
10. 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.
I think the incumbent wants the best for Pittsboro, but goes about it with so much emphasis on the region around the Town that he often misses things going on right in front of him. This is reflected in his use of Town revenue for a bus line to Chapel Hill. Maybe it was done that way because it was the only way to take advantage of matching grants, but we are in the middle of a recession and tax revenue is more precious than ever. On top of that, there is nothing I’ve seen that shows there was a pressing need for a bus route. I would have been more inclined, if I saw the need, to start with a van. Public transit is a wonderful idea, but I’m not inclined to use public money at a time like this for something so ambitious.