The following are answers to rrspin.com questions for the Halifax County Board of Commissioners race:
Western Steer manager, N.C. Department of Correction, Roanoke Rapids Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office — retired with 30 years of credible service as chief deputy in 2016 — civil positions at Caledonia Correctional Facility, and currently school resource officer at Belmont Elementary. Throughout my career I have either worked or supervised in every specialized field in law enforcement, primarily in administrative capacities.
Attended Jefferson Technical College for two years and completed literally thousands of hours of criminal justice training, to include management and leadership training.
Several criminal justice affiliations throughout the years and contributor to the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association Church Watch program.
I am married with four children and two grandchildren I am very proud of. We live in Enfield and have in-laws, step children and grandchildren that are wonderful. I attend Valley Community Church, where my son is an associate pastor. I have been a strong supporter and participant in many community events and fundraisers.
I could list several individuals that are endorsing my platform however, in consideration of the many people who have humbled me with support, it wouldn't be appropriate to list just a few.
Why are you seeking this office and what makes you qualified to hold it?
My calling in life has been public service.
I care deeply for Halifax County and our children's future.
I have seen first hand the successes of our communities and also the poverty and the impact it has on our quality of life in Halifax County.
My motivation is simply bringing new ideas for economic development, prioritizing our workforce education, improving communication between the citizens and private sector to promote government efficiency, and addressing critical public safety issues by getting back our criminal prosecution district so that unnecessary prolonged incarceration, victim rights, and reducing repeat offenders can be addressed.
Please note that I have specific information on my Bruce Temple for County Commissioner Facebook page.
Would you support a tax increase to support critical capital needs or critical recurring expenses? Please explain why or why not?
I am not in favor of a property tax increase for capital or recurring needs.
Both categories of expenditures are ones that require planning within budgets.
I am a firm believer that as a service provider, we simply must stay within the available budgets. I do think that creation of efficiency committees can save the county substantial funds that could be utilized for capital or recurring needs. Please read the details on my Facebook page.
Where do you stand on a school merger?
I am completely against a school district merger. Our children are far better served with the current community based schools model. Please read facts pertaining to this subject on my Facebook page.
Commissioners have passed proposed dog-hunting regulations onto state lawmakers and thus far there has been no action on the matter. Do you support changes in dog-hunting regulations or do you support different enforcement measures?
Our citizens deserve to keep their property private and our law-abiding hunters shouldn't be penalized for the reckless actions of a handful of offenders.
I would support cooperation between state and local agencies in enforcement, a call to prosecutors and judges to prioritize penalties in guilty offenders, and researching a substantial civil penalty based on an approved ordinance.
Many non-residents come here to hunt, so gaining a reputation for proactive enforcement would be helpful and fair.
How would you go about recruiting economic development projects to locate in Halifax County?
Our single biggest challenge is our workforce.
I would facilitate a meeting of stakeholders to prioritize needs of prospective employers and identify which programs would benefit our youth in addressing those needs.
I believe that our school districts and Halifax Community College should collaborate to best prepare our young adults and provide our economic development team the sales pitch of having a countywide community vested program to fulfill their needs. Development of skill sets will assist in the local shortage of employees and encourage entrepreneurship. .
Do you support construction of a new detention center, expansion of the existing facility or entering into a regional jail agreement? Please defend your answer?
There is a need to properly evaluate the cost comparison of construction, addition, continued housing at other jails, or implementing a regional jail. I would require an up-to-date cost assessment for all options and require periodic assessments to ensure that the needs of the community are met, all while maintaining a safe facility.
Do you identify as a conservative, moderate, or liberal?
I am undoubtedly a conservative that respects the opinion of all citizens.
Do you support the continuance of Zoom remote meetings?
I believe it's time to have in-person meetings. I also think we should have the option for any participant to utilize Zoom.
What is the biggest issue facing Halifax County and how would you address it when elected?
There are many important categories, but if I had to choose one, it would be workforce/economic development. Poverty, education, crime rates, tax base, and more revolves around this issue. I'll again refer you to my Facebook page for potential remedies.
Do you support raises for all county employees and do you go about sustaining those increases?
I have first-hand knowledge that our county employees are typically underpaid in comparison with their competitive markets.
The challenges for county management are real, with a limited tax base in a tier one county. The reality may be working with less staff, lowering expectations of timetables, but having better qualified employees to serve.
I do think that the quality of some services have been impacted by continuing turnover rates. Pay these folks like they deserve and they will stay and provide better service.
Who has been your biggest influence in your career?
There isn't a "who," there are many who have influenced me — Rex Stainback, Stanley Mabrey, Karl Clark, Jay Burch, Scott Hall, Jeff Frazier, and so many individuals that have been positive contributors in my personal and professional growth.
Please provide a brief summation on what the board of commissioners would be like under your leadership
The citizens of Halifax County would see transparency, relationship-building, government accountability, respect for all citizens, and the philosophy of team work being prioritized.
I am not a politician, but simply a person who believes that local government is here to provide for the best quality of life for its citizens.