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Chatham County Board of Commissioners District 5 (Unexpired

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners is composed of five members elected for four-year, staggered terms. Each commissioner must reside in one of five districts, but is elected by countywide voters. The Board levies local taxes, develops the annual budget, and administers county governmental services such as public health oversight, property registration, building code enforcement, tourism, and public works, such utilities. Although the Board is the main policy making body for the County, the Sheriff, the Register of Deeds and the Soil and Water Conservation District Board are directly elected by the county voters. The Commissioners also play a key role in funding education at the K-12 and community college levels, even though education policies are determined by the Chatham County Board of Education and the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees.

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  • Candidate picture

    Franklin Gomez Flores
    (Unaf)

  • Andy Wilkie
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What are the top 3 priorities the Chatham County Commission will face in the next term and how would you address them?

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?

Do you believe your county's social services are sufficient? If not, what 3 ways would you improve them?

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

What county environmental policies would you like to implement or change, if any, during your term?

Age (optional) 26
Contact Phone (919) 619-2373
email address gfran0205@gmail.com
Position/philosophy statement Lets create the future we wish to live in.
Growth: Growth in Chatham is inevitbale, but we can be responsible and strategic about it. Concerns about sewage, water quality, and deforestation are apparent. We must hold developers to the standards that are in place that protect our environment. I am against developments elongating their timeline of completion and getting grandfathered under old regulations when new regulations are implemented. I wish to find a legal way to prevent that. Jobs: Chatham has more residents commuting to other counties for employment than residents working within the county. Additionally, our residents are getting overworked and underpaid.We need to bring employment opportunities that pay a livable wage and competitive benefits into Chatham, especially when wages have been stagnant and price of life necessity items have risen over the years. Housing: I grew up in a family that invested in rental properties, I am aware of the sale and rental price inflation due to the low supply and high demand of available units. According to the North Carolina Housing Coalition, 26% of Chatham County households are cost burdened. I know for sure that a 1970's single wide trailer in a t railer park should not be worth $800 or more per month. I'll support providing incentives to developers to build enough units to bring a supply and demand balance in the housing market, and then shift focus to first time home buyers.
Chatham County will face growth, and as commissioners, we must provide the infrastructure to our school system to support that growth. We must anticipate this growth and provide the funding to build new schools and/or classrooms in existing schools. We must prevent classroom overcrowdedness, hire great teachers, and retain them. Addressing both issues will ensure that our teacher to student ratio is as low as possible to maximize the learning environment for our students. Keeping the ratio low allows us to maximize individualized attention from teacher to student, and ensuring that students are moving forward without misunderstandings. Chatham County is competing against other counties in the triangle and in the triad for the most effective teachers and to be the best school system in the state. Teachers are not paid, by the state, enough for the work they perform, thus creating a sentiment that they are under appreciated. I believe teachers have had the biggest impact on my life than any other state or private employee. I believe we must protect the teacher supplement in order to help retain the best teachers.
I do not believe that they are enough, and I can provide ideas on how to help those in need. I do believe the department is underfunded, especially when it can play a role in crime/drug use reduction. Crime and drug use are a public health issue that a joint initiative with public health department, social services, mental health organizations, and law enforcement can have a greater impact. I would like for Chatham to look into Portugal's drug strategy, and implement a unique version of ours. We must stop punishing drug users and instead create a system to integrate them into society; stop seeing it as a criminal issue and more as a public/mental health issue. According to the FRED Economic Data, 29% of Chatham County's households are single parent homes. I believe that together we must provide programs that balances the disadvantaged family. An idea to prioritizing these children to get partnered with a local business in order for them to learn a trade/industry. Another idea can be specifically targeting these children to learn about how to create wealth. I believe that the department must conduct a thorough investigation of altercations, especially at school. All parties must be investigated not just the one who started. Children get bullied and eventually their threshold may be met, causing them to become physically defensive. Then, the one who started the altercation gets investigated, and the bully is the victim. The bully may have family problems that go undetected.
I would like to establish partnerships with local businesses to provide opportunities for students to learn about an industry and get experience, all while helping local business with additional help from our students. We must help local business and help our students get experience to outcompete their peers from outside the county. We must also bring to the forefront the topic of generational wealth creation, whether that's through schools or county sponsored workshops. If we want to improve the economy of the county, we must improve the quality of life for our residents through wealth creation. Jobs/employment are not the best method for creating wealth, its dependent on one's time. Our residents are overworked and underpaid, which shows how ineffective jobs are for wealth creation and for maximizing quality family time. I would like to provide incentives for our community members to invest in Chatham County, to hire county based businesses, and to consume county produced porducts.
I do not like developments getting granfathered under old regulations, especially if its taking years and they keep elongating their timeline. This is an issue that must be addressed especially due to our watersheds and our farms. I also believe the county should have its own blacklist of developers and related companies/trades that get banned from being able to conduct business or provide services in Chatham. I would like to provide opportunities that tie educational and recreational activities while preserving our natural resources, a botanical garden as an example. I am also interested in what we can do with the school system to teach children about the importance of protecting our environment so they grow up with the habits and mentality necessary to protect our natural resources.
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