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 Friday’s 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: We need a magistrate in Huntersville. Our town has over 56,000 residents and growing. It is almost a 16-mile drive one way from the Huntersville Police Department to the Mecklenburg County Courthouse where our magistrates are housed. Our law enforcements’ time matters. A domestic violence victim’s time matters. By having a Magistrate in Huntersville, it will help keep our town safer.
– For challengers – one specific vote over the last two years you disagreed with and why: “Town of Huntersville Public Records Fee” was on the 9/16/19 agenda. After backlash from the public who thought it was terrible to charge citizens a fee for public records, the item was removed from the agenda and never discussed. While it felt like a small victory for transparency, I wish this measure had been voted upon so we knew where the commissioners stood. After the new board is sworn in, this measure could resurface and infringe on our rights. If I am elected I would always oppose such measures.
– 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 proper role of town government is to help the town run smoother and stay the course of long term success. I believe that the town government should be a good steward of tax dollars and be cautious and mindful how money is spent, because it belongs to the citizens.
– If not running on an anti-growth platform, how do you plan to deal with growth challenges if elected?: Huntersville is growing and will continue to grow. We need to be focused on being a town that is a great place to live and work and avoid becoming a commuter town where people live here, but shop and work in other towns. Huntersville needs to be proactive in being business friendly, but not just to large corporations, we need to treat small businesses with as much enthusiasm as the big companies, because this will help Huntersville keep its charm.
– Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives/tax rebates to certain companies over others: Absolutely not. As I mentioned above, we need to treat small businesses as well as we treat the large companies. Instead of providing tax incentives, we should streamline the planning process, which would save companies (large or small) money and help them reach their goals quicker.
– Are you hoping to benefit yourself personally if elected? If yes, explain. If no, one example of prioritizing Huntersville over your own self-interests: If elected I must bring on help at my business to cover the hours I can’t work and take a loss in getting paid myself. However, I love this town and I want to ensure that we go the right path so citizens don’t get priced out of living here and all citizens know that they have an ear that will truly listen and fight for them.
– 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): I think it’s more important to do both. However, I would never take any vote lightly, never dismiss the input of citizens, and would always put Huntersville first.
– Does the town need to do more to ensure transparency and accountability in its departments, including the use of independent, professional audits?: A happy government is a transparent government. I don’t think audits are a bad thing and I see them as a way to build a trusting relationship between the citizens and government, while we can also hone our budget needs and remediate any issues that may service.
– Do you support the public education status quo in Huntersville?: I support children getting whatever options best fit their educational needs. I don’t think it is the place of the government to dictate to a parent/guardian what is best for their child, especially when it comes to something as critical as their education, because that will shape the child’s life forever. I am open to all options out there that give children the best education they deserve, because educational needs are not a “one size fits all” situation.
– Cats or Dogs (or Chickens)?: I have all three. I am not picking sides on this one.
– Best place to get pizza in or around Huntersville: Mama’s eggplant parm pizza is amazing. Rocky’s has the best cheese pizza. Romanello’s chicken ranch is great. I think Huntersville might be on our way to being a pizza destination.
– Your favorite 19th century French political economist: Bastiat?
– Person/group most responsible for influencing your political views?: Mister Rogers. Which probably just got some major eye rolls, but in all seriousness, I live my life trying to be the neighbor Mister Rogers wanted me to be. I believe if we can respect those that are different from us and listen to each other, we can actually accomplish a lot for our community. It comes down to caring about the people in the community and doing what is best for our neighbors above anything else.
– How can readers find out more about your campaign? (social media, website)?: