2019 Huntersville Candidate Questionnaires – John Aneralla

I emailed the following questionnaire to every town board candidate in Huntersville a month ago in an effort to provide voters with more insight into each candidacy. There was no word limit for responses. Only three candidates returned the questionnaire by the deadline (and one late entry from Mayor Aneralla): Dan Boone, Stacy Phillips, and Brian Hines. I am definitely not an undecided voter and there’s little doubt which candidates I could or do support, but this questionnaire was intended to benefit the hundreds of other voters in the Huntersville Politics group who are still undecided and who don’t know the candidates/issues as well, so it’s disappointing more candidates didn’t participate.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.


– A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected:  I want to continue to accelerate the town’s infrastructure projects (roads, sidewalks & greenways) to complement the over $550 million worth of local, state and federal road projects.


– For incumbents – any vote over the last two years you would change and why – or, if none, any item you wish you the board would have accomplished and why:  The hiring of a full-time town attorney sooner than we did. The new attorney has reviewed and updated many procedures and contracts benefiting both the town and its citizens.


– What is the proper role of town government and do you think there is any limit to what town government can use taxpayer dollars for:  The role of town government is determined by State statute, which a town should adhere to and not stray away from. Towns get into trouble for example when they buy bankrupt cable companies and try to compete with the private sector.


– If you are running on an anti-growth platform, how do you intend to legally halt or slow down growth in Huntersville? Be specific.:


– If not running on an anti-growth platform, how do you plan to deal with growth challenges if elected?:  Allowing for a wide variety of housing options balanced with commercial development should be the goal of town government. Updating the 2030 community plan will help direct the town staff, developers and elected officials well into the future.


– Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives/tax rebates to certain companies over others:  In general, I am against any type of incentives given to one company over another. It should be government’s goal to keep taxes low combined with common sense regulations to create a positive environment for all businesses to flourish.

Only under VERY rare circumstances should government offer tax incentives to a business. A good example of this is when BMW received tax incentives to locate to the Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina. BMW’s presence in the area brought in related businesses and suppliers that transformed the area from the dying textile industry to a high-tech manufacturing destination.


– Are you hoping to benefit yourself personally if elected? If yes, explain. If no, one example of prioritizing Huntersville over your own self-interests:  No, I only own my home and do not have any business interests in Huntersville.


– If elected, is it more important to you to vote the will of the people (however that is determined) or to vote your conscience (except when the board is acting as a quasi-judicial body):  An elected official should always vote their conscience after considering all sides of an issue and be able to articulate why he or she voted in the way they did.


– Does the town need to do more to ensure transparency and accountability in its departments, including the use of independent, professional audits?:  The town has a financial audit every year. In addition, with a new town manager and town attorney in place over the past 15 months, many areas of town government have been scrutinized internally and with assistance from outside professionals.


– Do you support the public education status quo in Huntersville?:  I think Huntersville should continue to pursue all options proposed by the Huntersville Education Option Study Commission to ensure excellent education options for all children in the town.


– Cats or Dogs (or Chickens)?:  Dog


– Best place to get pizza in or around Huntersville:  I grew up in a family with a pizza restaurant, so pizza is one of my favorite foods. Fortunately, in Huntersville we have many great pizza establishments!


– Your favorite 19th century French political economist:


– Person/group most responsible for influencing your political views?:  My dad. He taught the value of hard work and not relying on government to be successful.


– How can readers find out more about your campaign? (social media, website)?: