The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

April 24, 2014

County Commission candidates express views on issues


Thursday, April 24, 2014 — 3.How do you propose the county bolster its economic development and create jobs?

4. A sales tax referendum will be on the ballot in November. Do you favor this option for generating revenue for the county? If not, what do you propose as an alternative?

5. If you were faced with raising property taxes or cutting county expenses or services, what would you prefer and why?

6. Are you concerned about any specific county-related expense or service?

7. Are you a proponent of the new voting format for the county commission? Why?

8. What song best reflects Stanly County’s lifestyle?

Board of Commissioners At-Large

Franklin Lee (Democrat)

Biographical information:  N/A

1. I want to do what I can to make government work for the citizens of Stanly County. I believe that my business and life experience will enable me to make the right decisions as a county commissioner.

2. The biggest issue is economic development and job creation.

3. Maintain and develop infrastructure, improve education, and maintain a business-friendly environment.

4. I am in favor of a sales tax to raise county revenue.

5. I would prefer cutting expenses and making government as efficient as possible.

6. I feel that all county expenses need to be reviewed, so that available resources are used where most needed. I have no specific concerns at this time.

7. I like the new voting format because it assures that all parts of the county are represented.

8. This question is too hard for me.

Debra Morgan (Democrat)

Personal:  Divorced; No children;

Occupation: Security officer for Stanly Community College, retired Albemarle police officer, present reserve officer;

Background: Former small business owner, SNAP’s People’s Choice Public Servant winner in 2010 & 2012;

Civic activities: National Rifle Association, attends Albemarle First Assembly Church, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 51.

1. The county needs me because I believe there are new ideas I have that can benefit and strengthen ties between the county and city. I feel very strongly about working with not only strengthening ties with municipalities in the county, but also each one of us as individuals. I have always been a strong believer of communication.

2. While having 11 years with the Albemarle Police Department as a patrol officer, I have extensive experience working with people and understanding their needs. Jobs are a pressing issue, but not so much jobs as the education of our people to do the job.

As our community moves away from the textile industry and more toward technology and its respective jobs, times are upon us to not do so much physical labor as mental labor. We need to make sure that locals are literate and furthering their education if at all possible. As new businesses do look at our area, I would hope they would fill our existing properties.

3. I would continue to support the implementation of the new emergency radio communication system. I would be in favor of increased funding for economic development incentives and increasing local funding for our children. I would look for grant money and low-interest funding to help support these initiatives.

I feel all of this would help to further develop a strong infrastructure, which will enable us not only to be more attractive for new businesses and jobs, but be able to meet their needs when the opportunity presents itself. Preparation meets opportunity.

4. I favor a sales tax referendum. There is no special interest and everyone pays an equal share of tax.

5. This is a double-edged sword. I would prefer cutting county expenses or services, but you can trim the fat only so far. I have seen so many job cuts and individuals working so much harder by wearing several hats. All of us want to be paid for what we are worth and appreciated for our job performance. It can sometimes be overwhelming.

If there is no other alternative, then I would see no other way but to raise taxes. This would be a last resort. My taxes would be raised like everyone else.

6. I would be more for cutting expenses before cutting services. I believe in working smarter, not harder.

7. I don’t know that it really matters, six of one and a half dozen of another. I guess you could look at it, there is one person representing a portion of a community and if someone within that community has a question or concern, they would surely have the opportunity to speak to someone they probably know fairly well. As an at-large candidate, I would be representing the entire county as a voice and not just one district. To me, this would be very important.

8.“Where I’m From” by Jason Michael Carroll.

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