I am dedicated to helping my neighbors grow our district into a cooperative, inclusive community that is worth a visit.
Two very important issues are top-level education facilities and high-quality drinking water. I support the pursuit of any capital improvements that are needed for our children to have a safe environment to learn. Some of the buildings in our county need improvements and conditions are only getting worse as time passes. Our water quality and capacity will improve upon completion of the water facility upgrade. These are both very important projects in our community that will provide a better future for generations to come.
The most effective role I could play would be to listen and offer a supportive voice. Our school board is working hard and the more minds we put towards the education of our youth, the better. A supportive, willing role will help in ways that a critical, demanding role never will. I will always be considerate of our educators and their ability to provide top-level instruction to our children. Avoiding overpopulation, securing resources and providing a safe learning environment will be top priorities when determining what changes are needed in our education system.
Granville county has numerous locations very convenient for industrial development such as our Triangle North site. I would propose a policy for industrial development with a concentration on industry that does not compete with existing business within our county lines. If a company does not increase exports or offer substitute options for items currently being imported, the jobs being created are not benefiting our county. Increasing the number of jobs is important but we certainly do not want to compete with established business within our borders.
Social Services should be discussed with a cause and effect mindset. We must be sure we are assisting those in need but at the same time understand the cause. As county commissioner, I will be sure that we are not just handing out meals but teaching those that are hungry, how to cook. Identifying the source and developing programs to educate the affected, will benefit those that are impacted. Creating programs within homeless shelters that offer basic adult education courses, job training, parenting classes or budgeting instructions could help develop residents who are ready to join the workforce and lighten the load of our existing social services programs.
Representing the interest of citizens of District 5 and Granville County with integrity, equality and common sense.
The pandemic has caused issues that we as a county will need to address in the near future. The impact on small business and unemployment have led to economic issues that will demand attention. The county is faced with providing services at the same or larger scale with less revenue, until our economy recovers. Careful planning and use of resources will be critical to continue to provide services through this recovery.
Retaining qualified teachers is a top priority for improving our local schools. Working collaboratively with members of the school board to ensure we are listening to those who are most vested in local schools, parents, and educators. Working on a program of lateral entry to provide teachers for skill trades to be taught to our students who are not pursuing higher education, such as electrical, masonry, auto mechanics, etc.
Retention and recruitment of business/industry is an important factor in improving the economy of our county. We need to attract new business that will provide higher paying jobs for our residents. Our county also needs to find innovative ways to encourage and promote small business within our communities. Once we have jobs for people we need to encourage them to shop local and keep money in our county.
Again with the economic issues following the pandemic I believe we will need to find means to assist with providing social services to our residents. We should explore all possible grants that may improve the programs we are able to provide. Budgets should be examined to find any possible monies that can be allocated to maintaining or improving services. Using existing buildings and land owned by the county could possibly allow for expansion of senior services into areas which have none at present.
I want Granville to be place of endless opportunity. A place you live, work and play. Where others seek to live. "Uniquely Carolina"
The county’s budget will be the most important issue the County Commissioners face over the next two years. The budget is lean and conservative. Our current budget reflects a peak year in debt reduction payments. Assuming no new debt, we will see a decrease in funding needed to retire the current debts, thus freeing up some additional revenue at the current ad valorem tax rate of .84. Despite the impact of COVID, the county has a robust fund balance and a built-in contingency to cover essential services. As funding becomes available from debt reduction payments, monies can be shifted to funding critical school and public safety needs. I am not in favor of a tax increase.
County Commissioners have no statutory authority on how Granville Public Schools carry out their primary responsibility of educating our children. This is solely reliant upon the Board of Education (BOE). The county does have statutory funding requirements which are described in NC GS 115C. This funding in part includes; school infrastructures i.e., buildings and maintenance. The Commissioners have historically funded instructional programs, pupil support services and teacher supplement (incentive). I support these funding streams.
I will support the BOE with fiscally responsible initiatives/funding to support Granville Public Schools in creating a competitive (competing with charter and private schools) school district. I will work with the BOE to enhance our school’s infrastructures, increase teacher supplements (incentive), and staff appropriate mental health professionals to improve the quality of education for all our children. I will also seek funding opportunities with our state and federal representatives for needed infrastructure projects. Our school district must improve its overall academic performances and become competitive or we will likely continue to see shrinking class sizes.
Examine our economic development programs to ensure they are maximizing innovative avenues to attract business and industry. Currently, the vast majority of tax revenue is received from residential property. Industrial and commercial development accounts for approximately nine percent of our tax base. Thereby, the county is dependent on tax revenues from residential property owners to provide essential county services, i.e. public safety, schools and social services. Creating a balanced tax base is important, as residential properties often cost more to serve than the tax revenues they generate. Commercial and industrial services tend to bring in more tax revenue than a local government’s cost to-provide services to those properties. A study was conducted for Franklin County and it was determined commercial and industrial land in their county contributed $1.90 in revenues for each dollar of public services they receive. Residential development contributed only $0.89 for every dollar of services received. For our tax based to be balanced and improved we must direct our economic development team to focus on higher-wage industries, such as professional/scientific/technical and the education services sector. Triangle North is position to gain opportunities as business/industry are trending away from metropolitan areas. We must also stop retail leakage to neighboring counties. County departments must coalesce to promote economic opportunities.
Our Social Services along with other essential services expansions are dependent on funding. Social Services requested a number of critical positions to be filled this past budget cycle to continue to provide quality service and meet the demands of those in need. Most of those positions were not filled due to funding constraints in the budget. I will work diligently to find fiscally responsible budgetary solutions to incrementally fund these requested positions.