1. Why do you wish to serve or continue to serve in the NC General Assembly?
I believe public service is a responsibility. I ran originally because I care about my community and wanted to improve our rural district. I am running again to continue this pursuit.
2. What are the top three challenges facing North Carolina and how do you propose to address them through your office?
The top three challenges are 1) transportation, 2) schools, and 3) environment.
First, I would like to see a commitment to transportation infrastructure that has an eye toward the future. North Carolina is growing very quickly and must embrace new ideas regarding funding and diversifying transportation.
Second, we must improve public education delivery in North Carolina. One important component to making our schools better and our economy stronger is to invest in Pre-K education. The research is there showing the importance of early learning and the correlation to future success. This would pay huge dividends to the individual students and society as a whole.
Last, the environment in North Carolina is so important. We are blessed with a beautiful state and abundant beaches, lakes and rivers. We must work toward policy that keeps our water safe and our scenery beautiful.
Addressing these three challenges will have a direct positive impact on our economic development and our quality of life.
3. There is a statewide issue with unmaintained roads in neighborhoods recently referred to as “orphaned roads.” A bill was introduced in the General Assembly this year but did not move forward. What are your thoughts for solving this problem?
“Orphaned roads” present an obstacle to growth in the housing market by putting the onus for improvements to certain thoroughfares on homeowners instead of the relevant government entity. Like most of my colleagues in the House, I voted by Senate Bill 778, but it languished in the Senate. I support addressing “orphaned roads.”
4. What NEW ideas or incentives can you suggest to attract business into the region?
A variety of factors come together to make a specific location attractive for business expansion and growth. Economic incentives (both state and local) play a key role, but other factors like the quality of the school system and workforce, entertainment options, proximately to recreation and transportation, and tax rate considerations all play a role in attraction. As a legislator, my role is to be a facilitator between all the interested parties and be a positive ambassador for my district.
5. Do you support a further extension of a tax on services in North Carolina? Why or why not?
No. I believe that taxes on services are regressive and unequal in application. We certainly need adequate revenue for governmental services, but there are better solutions.