Huntersville Town Board Questionnaire – Aaron Hintz

I emailed the following questionnaire to every town board candidate in Huntersville over a month ago in an effort to provide voters with more insight into each candidacy. [I received failed delivery messages from the email addresses listed for two candidates at the Mecklenburg BOE site – William Haigler and Jonathan Hudson.] There was no word limit for responses. Thanks to Aaron Hintz for responding – even if past the deadline. I’ll continue to post additional responses prior to the election if other candidates wish to respond.

Election day is Tuesday, November 7. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected: Trains. We need to pursue developing a rail line into Huntersville and the Lake Norman area with the same zeal exhibited in pursuing Huntersville’s interests regarding  I-77.

For challengers – one specific vote over the last two years you disagreed with and why: While I respect the desire to provide concrete results to our citizens in the form of express buses, the town board erred when composing a resolution against a study for rail alternatives. The Board of Commissioners should take every opportunity to support any and all efforts to bring rail transportation to Huntersville.

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 concise answer is anything allowable by state law and within the approval of the citizenship. Personally, I see town government as making sound investments to benefit the citizenship in the long and short term. These investments can bring about benefits that are concrete like infrastructure or intangible like a centennial celebration.

Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives to certain companies over others: The town should use incentives as bargaining chips to guide the economic development of the community. The only winner should be Huntersville as a whole.

If elected, which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to reward with taxpayer monies and which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to deny taxpayer funding: While town governments typically support some group of non- profits in some capacity, I don’t have any set list of non-profits or charitable endeavors that deserve or necessarily don’t deserve town support. Each request would need be weighed on its own merits and against the needs or interests of the town.

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): In avoiding a complicated answer, the two should be one in the same. Instances when it is not, would need to be gauged individually.

Your favorite US president: I liked reading Jefferson the most, I respect the accomplishments of FDR, Kennedy exercised balanced judgement, GHW Bush is a man of admirable character. Most presidents had strengths to be emulated while also possessing weaknesses best avoided.

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts: Krispy Kreme for glazed and DD for all else.

Your favorite 19th century French political economist: Given the relatively small pool from which to select, um…. Bastiat?  I have used the idea of opportunity cost in every decision since taking macro economics in 1991. It provides a wonderful, contextual depth for decision making: a choice isn’t just a choice, but a preference above all other possible choices at any one time and the fruit any one of those alternatives might ever bear.

How can readers find out more about your campaign? 

“Hintz for Huntersville” on Facebook

Huntersville Town Board Questionnaire – Dan Boone

I emailed the following questionnaire to every town board candidate in Huntersville over a month ago in an effort to provide voters with more insight into each candidacy. [I received failed delivery messages from the email addresses listed for two candidates at the Mecklenburg BOE site – William Haigler and Jonathan Hudson.] There was no word limit for responses. Thanks to Commissioner Dan Boone for responding – even if slightly past the deadline. I’ll continue to post additional responses prior to the election if other candidates wish to respond.

Election day is Tuesday, November 7. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected: One specific agenda item I want to work on is working with our new Huntersville Ordinance Advisory Board in their efforts to review and overhaul our town’s ordinances and regulations to eliminate those that are unnecessary and overburden our citizens and businesses.

[For incumbents] Any vote over the last two years you would change and why – or, if none, any item you would have accomplished and why: My only regret is that we did not pass term limits for members of volunteer town boards.

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: North Carolina is a Dillon Rule state which means the role of Huntersville’s town government (and the role of all town governments in NC) and what town government can use taxpayer dollars for is already defined and limited by state law. We may only take on the roles and powers and perform tasks expressly granted to us by state law or “fairly implied by the expressed power in the statute.” Key roles granted to municipalities include public safety (police and fire protection, etc.), providing certain services to citizens such as trash pick-up, building and maintaining town streets and roads, planning and zoning, enacting local ordinances to protect the public good as long as they do not conflict with state law, providing parks and recreational opportunities for residents, and the ability to levy certain taxes and fees on citizens to pay for the roles we fill. I believe that we should closely adhere to Dillon’s rule and to state law. It is a much needed limitation on the powers of local government.

Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives to certain companies over others: I personally strongly dislike tax incentives and wish that no one is allowed to use them. However, as long as other towns, cities, counties and states have the option to offer tax incentives then offering them must remain an option for Huntersville. I believe that the use of incentives should be evaluated closely on a case by case basis and that we should use incentives very sparingly on projects that will have a very significant impact on our town and our region’s economy. Any time that we decide to offer incentives they must include aggressive clawbacks designed to guarantee that if a company does not create the amount jobs and/or invest as much in our local economy as they agreed to do that incentives must be repaid along with interest and other penalties.

I also believe that we should focus just as much on creating a business-friendly atmosphere that encourages our existing businesses to expand, grow and create jobs as we do on recruiting new business to town. We can do this by continuing to eliminate overly burdensome regulations, keeping our tax rate low, tackling the traffic challenges we face, keeping our community safe, and ensuring the infrastructure is in place to support their growth and expansion. 

If elected, which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to reward with taxpayer monies and which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to deny taxpayer funding: I support the town’s current policy and guidelines for allocating grants to not-for-profit corporations.

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 believe that I was elected to represent the citizens of Huntersville and that I work for them. They are my bosses. Whenever the will of the people is not in conflict with my conscience then I will vote the will of the people. When the will of the people conflicts with my conscience I will explain to our citizens the concerns I have and work to try to come up with a solution or compromise that can reconcile the will of the people with my conscience. If that is not possible then I will follow my conscience and do what I believe is right for our town and its citizens.

Your favorite US president: Ronald Reagan. I admire President Reagan for his leadership, his courage, his willingness to speak his mind, his love for our country and its citizens, and his optimism for the future of America.  His vision of America as “a Shining City on a Hill” still inspires me to this day.  

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts: Krispy Kreme

Your favorite 19th century French political economist: Frederic Bastiat for his developing the concept of opportunity cost, for his pamphlet The Law, and for providing the economic beliefs and theories that serve as the foundation for the Austrian school of economics.

How can readers find out more about your campaign? 

booneforhuntersville.com

facebook.com/danboonehuntersville

– email: danboonenc @ aol.com

Huntersville Town Board Questionnaire – Charles Guignard

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. [I received failed delivery messages from the email addresses listed for two candidates at the Mecklenburg BOE site – William Haigler and Jonathan Hudson.] There was no word limit for responses. Thanks to Commissioner Charles Guignard for responding – even if slightly past the deadline.

Election day is Tuesday, November 7. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected: To continue to work with the state legislatures to help make Huntersville be on equal footing with Charlotte/Mecklenburg County with regards hotel/motel tax, prepared food tax, schools ABC monies and many other issues because we are severely lacking and not being treated appropriately in those areas currently.

[For incumbents] Any vote over the last two years you would change and why – or, if none, any item you would have accomplished and why: If I were King for a day I would take Flouride out of regions water because it is a known toxic waste and we only can begin to know what harm it is causing our society.

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 town should continue to provide everything from appropriate, realistic police and fire protection to efficient waste pickup as well as the planning and infrastructure services the town currently provides. So there is and always should be a limit with some being perceived and some being real as well as those dictated by Mother Charlotte.

Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives to certain companies over others: As a small business owner of over 40 years, I have always struggled with subsidies especially those the previous administration gave to Wal-Mart. However, I approach each of these as they are presented to us and base a decision on long-term benefit to the community.

If elected, which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to reward with taxpayer monies and which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to deny taxpayer funding: I abide by and will continue to abide by the policy the board has in place for such contributions.

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 will approach each vote on individual merit and always vote with the long-term benefit to the community in mind.

Your favorite US president: Dwight D. Eisenhower because of the road system he created. 

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts: Krispy Kreme, except for the Dunkin Donuts maple donut.

Your favorite 19th century French political economist: I am French and don’t know one.

How can readers find out more about your campaign? [no answer provided – and don’t bother searching for Commissioner Guignard’s social media accounts, your best bet is to reach him by phone.]

Huntersville Town Board Questionnaire – Mark Gibbons

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. [I received failed delivery messages from the email addresses listed for two candidates at the Mecklenburg BOE site – William Haigler and Jonathan Hudson.] There was no word limit for responses. Thanks to Commissioner Mark Gibbons for responding – even if slightly past the deadline.

Election day is Tuesday, November 7. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected: As long as the issues we have already worked on (ETJ, Dispatch, roads, HFFA) continue to progress as I hope, I would like to focus on getting a fairer distribution of ABC money for Huntersville, and continue to look for ways to save money for the taxpayers. I continue to be active in trying to get a better solution to the HOT lanes on I77 which includes lobbying our elected reps at state and federal level to change the voting structure at CRTPO.

[For incumbents] Any vote over the last two years you would change and why – or, if none, any item you would have accomplished and why: I stand by all of my votes. With that said, I may have voted differently on a tax incentive plan having more knowledge of the subject. I try to educate myself on the issues we face and make the best decision based on what I feel is best for Huntersville overall. I think this board has been deliberate and sound in our decisions.  That is not to say everyone agrees with them.

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: Municipal government should provide safety services (police and fire), other public health services (trash pickup and ordnances that protect all), planning of development and infrastructure, local road maintenance and building new local roads as required, and some recreational amenities.

Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives to certain companies over others: No. I did vote to give tax incentives and alluded to that above. As for picking or discriminating, it is never presented as giving company A something and giving company B nothing. What each company brings to the local area is considered (# of jobs and salary range, capital investment value, and their commitment to Huntersville). I lean towards minimal incentives, but cannot say I would never vote for an incentive package.

If elected, which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to reward with taxpayer monies and which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to deny taxpayer funding: I was one of the board members who pushed our new town policy on charitable contributions. [Note – you can review the policy in question at a prior post on this issue here.] I feel that giving taxpayer money to charities we (town board) choose is wrong.  Charity is not, by definition, government taking your money and giving it to someone else. I want to be very clear, there are many local charities that serve Huntersville residents and are deserving of charitable donations, just not from government.

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): This is a no win question. I say I am elected to represent the people of Huntersville (even those who do not vote for me), but I find that my conscience usually leads me to that vote. If it feels wrong to me, it is probably wrong for Huntersville.

Your favorite US president: Teddy Roosevelt

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts: Dunkin, but sure glad to have a new donut shop in town, Duck Donuts.

Your favorite 19th century French political economist: I was going to say Comte (tic), but since you are asking the question, Bastiat all the way.

How can readers find out more about your campaign?

electmarkgibbons.com

– email: electmarkgibbons @ gmail.com

facebook.com/electmarkgibbons

Huntersville Town Board Questionnaire – Brian Hines

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. [I received failed delivery messages from the email addresses listed for two candidates at the Mecklenburg BOE site – William Haigler and Jonathan Hudson.] There was no word limit for responses. Thanks to Brian Hines for responding – even if slightly past the deadline.

Election day is Tuesday, November 7. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected: Roads-Have been talking about some of the same road projects since the time I served on the Planning Board in the mid 2000’s. No reason we cannot move these projects forward quicker.

[For challengers] One specific vote over the last two years you disagreed with and why: [no answer provided]

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: Protect citizens and oversee and steward their tax dollars

Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives to certain companies over others: We need to encourage Economic Development in our town as it is critical for our tax base.

If elected, which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to reward with taxpayer monies and which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to deny taxpayer funding: [no answer provided]

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): [no answer provided]

Your favorite US president: Ronald Reagan

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts: Krispy Kreme

Your favorite 19th century French political economist: I do not follow enough to have a favorite. [Frederic Bastiat would have been an acceptable answer.]

How can readers find out more about your campaign?

electbrianhines.com

– facebook.com/electbrianhines/

Huntersville Town Board Questionnaire – Lance Munger

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. [I received failed delivery messages from the email addresses listed for two candidates at the Mecklenburg BOE site – William Haigler and Jonathan Hudson.] There was no word limit for responses. Only one candidate returned the questionnaire by yesterday’s deadline, Lance Munger. 

Election day is Tuesday, November 7. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected: Revisit the Huntersville 2030 Plan, place a better emphasis on green building, specifically by 1) encouraging the preservation of tree canopy, 2) Incentivizing the use of alternative energy in new and existing developments, 3) Create incentive programs for LEED certified buildings and 4) Address the issue of growth and explore options to achieve a more sustainable growth rate.

[For challengers] One specific vote over the last two years you disagreed with and why: The extension of the closure deadline of LCID landfills. 1) The original wording of the ordinance indicated that “In No Event” would the deadline be extended, when questioned the general response from town officials was that those were just words. 2) Not a single resident spoke out in favor of this extension. 3) The Staff recommendation was to oppose this extension and force LCID to go down the Special Usage Permit (SUP) path, which would involve a full public hearing where all residents would need to be notified and have the opportunity speak. 4) The Planning Board recommended denial by a vote of 5-1 and also supported the (SUP) path.  Despite all of this, the motion carried 5-1.  To me this is a clear case of our elected officials failing to listen to their constituents.

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: To promote our town as a safe and friendly place to live. To encourage sustainable growth, job expansion and deliver quality services, while ensuring a minimal environmental impact.  I do believe there are limits to what taxpayer dollars should be used for, if you have specific items that you would like me to address, I would be happy to do so.

Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives to certain companies over others: I understand the importance of this question and acknowledge that as an elected official, I would never want to create losers in a business environment within our town by creating more favorable conditions for some businesses over others.  With that being said, I don’t think that there is a blanket yes or no answer to this question.  I believe that every situation should be evaluated to determine what would be most beneficial to all of our residents. My focus would be on attracting larger companies to our business areas such as The Park.  The goal in doing this would be that we bring new higher paying jobs to the community without displacing any of our existing businesses.

If elected, which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to reward with taxpayer monies and which non-profit and/or charitable endeavors do you intend to deny taxpayer funding: I am very open minded on this subject, I don’t have a specific agenda in regards to most of the non-profit/charitable organizations that Huntersville currently does or possibly could fund.  The one exception is that I would like to see us continue to support the Arts & Science Council (ASC).

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): Will of the people.

Your favorite US president: Dwight D. Eisenhower

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts: Krispy Kreme, but really Duck Donuts destroys them both.

Your favorite 19th century French political economist: Antoine Augustin Cournot

How can readers find out more about your campaign?

votelancemunger.org

facebook.com/voteforlancemunger

 

Journalism 101

This week’s edition of the Lake Norman Citizen (or as I like to refer to it, LKN Tax the Citizen) once again demonstrates why it can accurately boast of being “the only experienced, professional, legitimate news outlet in the Lake Norman region.” If you’re an aspiring journalism professional who wants to learn how to get politicians to do what you want while still maintaining the pretense of being an objective journalist, you definitely need to read this week’s Citizen.

See, when you’re supposed to be an objective journalist just reporting the facts you have to work extra hard to maintain that pretense of objectivity so you don’t reveal to your readers that you have just as many biases as they do. For example, at the Citizen they have to work to hide their utter disdain for conservatives and their even greater disdain for any effort (usually) by conservative politicians to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. So when the Huntersville town board initially deferred a vote in April and then later voted 3-2 against the proposed revised agreement with the Carolina Rapids during the May 1, 2017 board meeting, the objective journalists at the Citizen went to work right away to ensure the vote went the way it was supposed to next time.

Lay the groundwork in the Horse’s Mouth section for how great the Rapids organization is and how a deal with them shouldn’t be about the money (remember, it’s Parks and Rec, not Parks and Revenue) after some board members had the audacity to ask questions about the proposed agreement during the April 17 board meeting. Check.

After the May 1 vote against the agreement, run a one-sided article highlighting all of the supposed benefits of extending the Rapids agreement without providing any perspective on how much it costs taxpayers to operate Barry Park every year or any information about how much revenue the Rapids reported on their Form 990 last year. Check.

The week before the May 15 board meeting, write a super clever editorial (and I mean like Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing clever) that people will think is about actually cleaning a house, but in reality is about cleaning house at Huntersville town hall, that attempts to accuse the fiscally conservative majority on the board of not acting fiscally conservative enough and cite the Rapids vote as an example. Check.

Then, when Commissioner Boone, one of the original dissenting board members, does the right thing and places the agreement back on the agenda for the May 15 meeting so the board can finally vote the right way – in the May 17 issue, run cover photo on the print edition with celebratory soccer players and text above the photo stating Town, Rapids back in business; credit Commissioner Boone as being the driving force behind saving soccer in Huntersville and quote him in not one, but two sections of the paper (along with a nice headshot in the print edition!); conveniently leave out that the other “fiscally conservative” board members also voted for the agreement to avoid any favorable print for them in an election year; and write a Leslie Knope-esque editorial as a reminder to other politicians that they better not try to cut any money from parks and rec again. Check.

Continue to rake in advertising dollars from parks and rec affiliated partners and area sports leagues (including the ones who engage in viewpoint discrimination which we just turn a blind eye to even though we’re journalists). Check!

And that’s how you journalism.

But hey, I’m just some guy on the internet so what do I know.

Eric