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Q & A on Wake County Issues

SH 12Jan14 #379

What are your top three priorities in office?
1) Elevating our public school system back to the nationally recognized status we once held.
2) Allowing our citizens a voice and a vote on the transit and transportation future of Wake County.
3) Continue developing a clean and healthy environment, as well as healthy citizens by improving and expanding clean water, air quality, open space, parks and greenways.

What is the biggest challenge facing Wake County, and how should it be addressed?
Wake County is growing and will continue to grow. The question before us is how do we double in size over the next 20 years while improving our quality of life. This includes a nationally ranked public school system where our children continue to receive the best education in the country. It means the ability to move around our region with minimum congestion while providing more transportation options. It means a clean and healthy environment where our citizens enjoy abundant water, clean air, and a wide variety of recreational opportunities, parks and open spaces. It also means a healthy, happy population where talented professionals want to move their families and businesses here maintaining our status as one of the best places to live in America.

Given Wake County’s continued population growth and limited funds for area highway projects, how would you address increasing traffic congestion?
We have to start planning now on how we are going to manage the increased traffic and congestion in the years to come. To that end, our citizens of Wake County deserve a voice and a vote on our transportation future. This includes a vote on mass transit and road improvements, as well as a broader discussion of how we can move our citizens throughout the region with the greatest amount of speed and ease.

What is the Board of Commissioners’ role in ensuring that Wake County’s public schools remain on solid footing with regard to finances and facilities?
The school board sets and implements policy, however it is up to the commissioners to provide guidance and resources. We have got to move our public school system back to the nationally recognized status we once held. That means not only compensating our teachers financially so we can continue to attract the most talented teachers in North Carolina, but also giving them the resources to do their job. We must appreciate the work they are doing for our kids, and stop fighting and start working together with our school board.