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Wake County Board of Commissioners District 4

Wake County is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners. The Board enacts policies such as establishment of the property tax rate, regulation of land use and zoning outside municipal jurisdictions, and adoption of the annual budget. Commissioners represent districts and are elected at the same time, at mid-term elections, to serve 4-year terms.

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    Susan P. Evans
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What is the most important issue the County Commission will have to address in the next term? (Allow a Youtube answer, or text, or both)

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 proposed 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) 62
Contact Phone (919) 796-6108
email address evansforwake@gmail.com
Twitter @sevansforwake
Position/philosophy statement To continue to provide pragmatic, fair-minded policy and budgetary decisions in my second term as County Commissioner.
With the County’s role as the public health agency, our most immediate focus will be continuing to support policies that provide for mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 virus and working collectively with our local medical providers to ensure the best possible care for those affected. The pandemic is contributing to much reduced revenues from sales taxes, property tax collections and fees for other county services. As a result, the recently approved budget for the fiscal year that just began on July 1st, included many budgetary cuts from the previous year, as we did not feel it would have been appropriate to increase our property tax rate in this climate. Since the length and breadth of the pandemic could not be fully estimated at the time we finalized the budget, I anticipate much time will be spent in the coming year reviewing data and appropriately making interim budget adjustments, while trying to provide effective county services.
The role that the county commissioners play is the provision of local funding for our public school system. Policy making is the purview of the Board of Education and we are careful not to blur those lines. During my first two years as a County Commissioner I am proud we approved the largest local per pupil funding ever for the 19-20 fiscal year and even given the limitations of the 20-21 budget, when we were forced to cut many departments budgets, we approved an increase above the previous year for the public schools. Overall, our current Board considers strong funding for our public schools a high priority and the funding provided for WCPSS and Wake Tech makes up over 50% of our total budget. And of course, as a recent member of the Wake County Board of Education (2011-2016), I am one of the strongest advocates for the school system. In addition to supporting increases in funding, I have successfully worked to foster more respectful relationships between the two Boards and our staffs. Our two most recent budget cycles have encompassed a more productive joint-team approach for arriving at the County’s funding support for Wake County Public Schools. I look forward to continuing to improve upon this process.
Our Wake County Economic Development group works to recruit new businesses and to encourage business expansion in Wake. The County provides temporary tax rebate incentives for these employers if they increase jobs by certain metrics. We recently initiated the “Upward Mobility Bonus”, which offers increased incentives if the businesses agree to a list of responsible employment practices, such as paying minimum wages of $15/hr, providing health insurance, paid parental, bereavement leave, etc. The Commissioners have partnered Wake Tech on two key programs. “Wake Invests in Women” is a collective impact approach to address income gaps between men and women and is focused on increasing the number of women entering higher-wage, higher-demand jobs in STEM-related fields. Through the ”Wake Works” initiative we have begun supporting the expansion of certain skilled trades apprenticeship programs by funding tuition, fees, books, uniforms and tools for students. I am proud of these efforts and look forward to exploring similar ideas with my colleagues to further support a strong workforce and upward mobility in Wake.
Below are a few of the key initiatives within the umbrella of Human Services that I have been excited to support. The Commissioners have been increasing our support for those dealing with food insecurity, especially children by funding food pantries in High Schools, expanding our summer food program and universal breakfast programs. We formed an Infant Mortality Task Force focusing on better outcomes for pregnant mothers and their babies, especially in minority populations. I look forward to supporting the implementation of approaches they have identified. We are making measurable advances in expanding affordable housing in Wake and in reducing homelessness through our recently formed Affordable Housing and Community Revitalization Department funded with a $15 million allocation in each of the past two years. In the coming year, I will be supporting the use of County funds received from the Wake County ABC Commission to fund the expansion of beds in treatment facilities and halfway houses that are operated by community partner organizations.