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Carteret County Board of Commissioners District 3

The 7-member Board sets the policy for the county, determining the strategic vision for the county, appoints a county manager, attorney and others to serve the county, adopts ordinances, including zoning, and establishes an annual budget, which includes setting the tax rate and calling bond referendums. Each commissioner is elected countywide, but must reside within the boundaries of one of six districts. One commissioner is elected from each district, with the exception of District 3, which elects two members to the Board of Commissioners.

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    Bob Cavanaugh

  • Kathleen Colbert

Biographical Information

What is the most important issue the County Commission will have to address in the next term?

What is the most effective role the county commission can play in improving the local schools? What policies or funding will you suggest when elected?

What policies will you propose to improve the economy of your county?

What policies would you propose to improve the quantity and quality of social services in your county?

Age (optional) 72
Contact Phone (252) 241-6420
There is no singular "most important issue". County Commissioners oversee a broad spectrum of departments ranging from Sheriff to Health and Human Services, Fire & EMS, to Planning, Information Tech., Finance and Tax and more. What is important is to be aware of the needs of the various departments to assure our tax payers that all the wide ranging responsibilities are being met in an efficient, professional and cost effective manner.
The county school system is governed by the School Board which is an independent elected body. The Superintendent of the Carteret County Public School System implements the decisions of that board. During the annual county budget process, the Superintendent proposes the school budget for the next year which is taken into serious consideration by the Commissioners. These budget requests typically list needed repairs to school buildings and equipment, additional staffing, etc. County Commissioner responsibilities are to ensure adequate funding for the material needs of the school system. The State sets the curriculum for students and pay scale for the teachers and support staff. County schools are ranked in the top 10% of all 115 NC school systems and our high schools are ranked number one in the state. My policy would be to continue doing what we are doing. Education is our largest budgetary item and I plan to keep it so.
Carteret County has the lowest county tax rate in the state. This provides incentive for retirees to move into Carteret. These retirees buy homes and support local businesses and pay taxes while simultaneously placing little to no burden on the school system and social services department. Additionally, retirees utilize many service industries ranging from landscaping, plumbing, painting, roofing, etc., etc. The growing retiree population is a win win for the county's economy. Additionally, as a sitting member of the transportation committee, I see the long range plans for improved county infrastructure like airport expansion and improved rail service and Hyway 70 eventually becoming Interstate 42. Theses discussions are already underway and plans are in motion leading eventually to a much improved county transportation infrastructure which along with our port will open Carteret to the broader market.
The question, in my opinion, presupposes a need for more and better social services within the county. An improvement in the quantity would be to require less social services. Carteret has an excellent Department of Social Services and Health headed by Ms. Cynthia Holman who has the system knowledge and leadership skills and the proper level of empathy to do the superlative job that she is doing. Good government isn't always about money; it is often more about having the right people in the right position. Monetary requests coming from DSS/Health during the county budget process are given equal consideration with all other departments.
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