(a) Establishing slope regulations for construction on steep mountainsides.
(b) Dealing with the recycling and disposal of obsolete and abandoned mobile homes.
(c) Strengthening education in grades 4-8 to reduce high school drop out rates.
(d) Continue to secure jobs for the mountain area.
2. What are three of the most pressing issues facing the people of your district, and how can the state legislature deal with them?
(a) Infrastructure expansion to address the tremendous growth in the area by assisting with financing, technical assistance and streamlining regulatory procedure.
(b) Slope regulation to increase construction and road construction requirements to prevent slides and water impurity downhill from proposed construction sites.
(c) Disposal of obsolete and abandoned mobile homes can be addressed in the same manner under the law that currently deals with white goods and their disposal. Because of the large amount of recyclable material in these houses, a new industry will arise to handle the 40-80 thousand obsolete and abandoned mobile homes in North Carolina.
3. Should the legislature help seniors with property taxes by adjusting the homestead exemption on their homes?
At present, lower income senior citizens do receive relief on their property taxes. Several states have or are considering legislation addressing this problem and I would propose to study this issue caused by rapid increases in property values which has caused property taxes to increase. Jackson and Macon counties rank 3 and 4 in North Carolina in the lowest tax rates; however, the issue needs to be examined.
4. What is your position on lobbyist and campaign reform?
I supported the toughest lobbyist and campaign bill in North Carolina history.
5. do you support more extensive state action to help with farmland preservation? If so, what specific measures should be enacted?
As a co-sponsor, I supported the Farmland Preservation Act which will protect our farmland, make it available for families to pass down through their children and will protect it from development except for farming.
6. What is the most pressing educational need in the state?
Improving the quality of education particularly at the 4-8 grade levels. Our students, according to test scores, are doing very well in grades k-3. The scores start to level off in the middle grades which contribute to poor performance in high schools and is a subsequent factor in the state’s high drop out rates. Improvement in the middle grades will assist students at the high school level and help retain students in school.
7. What can the state afford to do to help counties with increasing Medicaid costs?
During the last session, the state placed a cap on Medicaid reimbursement to be paid by counties and agreed to pay excess costs. The whole challenge with Medicaid, its delivery and its cost can only be adequately addressed by the federal government which so far, fails to acknowledge the nation has a problem with Medicaid and the whole health care issue.
8. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
One of my early idols was Dr. Jones, a dentist. I entered college with the dental profession in mind. But because of my enjoyment of political science and history, I decided on the legal profession.
9. What is your favorite television show?
“Sunday Morning” on CBS.
10. describe your philosophy of government in 100 words.
Government exists for the health, wellbeing and protection of every citizen. It should help those who are unable to help themselves. It should promulgate laws designed and intended to make us safe and secure in our homes and places of employment. It should never have unabridged power but serve at the pleasure of its citizens as exercised at the ballot box. “ Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of clarity than the consistent omissions of a government in the ice of its own indifference.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.