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: 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:
– 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: I voted against district representation and term limits, because I am strongly opposed to district representation and believe it would pit different areas of our town against each other. It was a tough vote because I am a proponent of term limits. I wish this had been broken up into two different motions so we would have had the opportunity to cast an up or down vote on term limits. I will continue to work to implement term limits at the town level.
– 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.
– If you are running on an anti-growth platform, how do you intend to legally halt or slow down growth in Huntersville? Be specific.: I am not running on an anti-growth platform.
– If not running on an anti-growth platform, how do you plan to deal with growth challenges if elected? I will continue to carefully enforce our existing planning and zoning regulations as well as take more actions to ensure that developers are required to do more to mitigate the challenges growth brings to our town (like we did when we changed the Traffic Impact Analysis ordinance). I will also continue to listen carefully to the concerns of all residents and businesses and respond to those concerns. Huntersville will continue to grow but it must do so in way that is planned, responsible and doesn’t reduce the high quality of life we enjoy here.
– Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives/tax rebates to certain companies over others?: I personally strongly dislike tax incentives and wish that no one is allowed to use them. I do not believe that town government should be in the business of selecting winners and losers. Incentives also take tax dollars from our small businesses and give them to big businesses that compete directly with our small businesses. This is fundamentally unfair. That is why I have consistently voted against all incentives during my tenure as a Town Commissioner.
I 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.
– Are you hoping to benefit yourself personally if elected? If yes, explain. If no, one example of prioritizing Huntersville over your own self-interests: I am not hoping to benefit personally if elected. I am retired and view serving on this board as an opportunity to give back to a community that has given so much to me and is so special to me. As a board member, I do not look at issues in context of what is best for me, but in the context of what is morally right and what is best for our town and its residents as a whole. I prioritize Huntersville over my own self-interest by freely volunteering to serve our town on various boards and through various civic, charitable, and religious organizations.
– 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.
– Does the town need to do more to ensure transparency and accountability in its departments, including the use of independent, professional audits?: Yes, I believe more transparency and accountability is important at all levels of government which is why during my four years as a town commissioner I’ve worked hard to make town government more transparent.
– Do you support the public education status quo in Huntersville?: I do not support the public education status quo in Huntersville. I was a strong supporter of a possible municipal charter school. We need to have this option in the town’s tool box to help protect over crowding in CMS schools.
– Cats or Dogs (or Chickens)?: Dogs, especially my campaign mascot Max.
– Best place to get pizza in or around Huntersville: My refrigerator! I love day old left over pizza.
– 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.
– Person/group most responsible for influencing your political views?: My parents influenced my political views. From my Mother, “we don’t unwrap gifts unless they are paid for.” From my Father, “you might not respect the man, but you will respect the rank.”
– How can readers find out more about your campaign? (social media, website)?
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org