Why am I running against an incumbent politician who has held this seat for 8 years?
Believe me, I am a reluctant politician. But as a long term resident of the county, I think we need to set higher standards for our elected officials. We can't expect results if we are not willing to act and hold them accountable for decisions that have cost us time and money.
Frankly, we have some difficult decisions to make in the coming months and years for our community. There are many challenges and resources are limited.
Fresh ideas are needed to break us out of these stale and top down approaches to dealing with difficult situations. Why don't people trust what the politicians are saying? It is a sad commentary on the lack of transparency and break down in communication. It also speaks to a failure to reach out to all parts of the community to resolve hard problems with long term not band-aid solutions.
My top priorities will be:
As an educator and scholar, quality schools and education are at the top of my list. If we do not address this issue more aggressively, Granville county will simply be a “pass through” community. Parents are already voting with their feet by finding alternative schooling arrangements, teachers and their families will not stay more than a few years, children will not come back to live once they’re grown, employers will not hire our residents and they most certainly will not invest their long term dollars here. We need to address student performance, teacher retention, building restoration and inspire families to have confidence in the local schools so they will stay and build their futures here.
2) Water Quality Management
Let's fix, once and for all, these lingering suspicions about the water quality and environmental degradation in Granville county. SGWASA's biggest customer is gradually reducing its water consumption which will hit the remaining customers squarely in the pocketbook. How can we resolve all the problems facing SGWASA? Ask yourself: If the water is so good, then why doesn't anybody want to drink it?
3) Healthcare and Other Services
Some things have improved since 2014 when the media put a spotlight on our EMS issues but there are still concerns about EMS on the southern end. How do we help residents feel confident about using those services? We also need to improve and increase more outlets for residents to work, spend their leisure and recreational time as well as their shopping dollars closer to home. High speed internet throughout the county would allow more people to work from home. In Granville County's 6th District, we pay the most in county taxes but lag behind in services. Why?
4) Quality & Competent Leadership
Good customer service, competent decision making, access to records from public meetings, respect and courtesy when dealing with our elected officials are basic requirements. We can do much better in this area. Government officials who are paid by the taxpayers must serve them as constituents, whether the taxpayer voted red or blue, or even voted at all in the last election. Taxpaying citizens should not be bullied and mocked when they present their concerns at public hearings. Trust has been eroded in some public officials and new faces are needed. New leaders are needed who are willing to engage with all stakeholders and bring people back to the table to work on critical issues which affect all of us.