The following are answers to rrspin.com questions for the Halifax County Board of Commissioners race:
Vernon J. Bryant
Retired state employee — judicial district manager of community corrections
Editor’s note: The candidate opted to include his resume, which can be found in the gallery below, to address experience, education and professional affiliations.
I have been married to Sandra W. Bryant for 41 years. Together, we are the proud parents of two adult children, Kendel Bryant Phillips and Kevin W. Bryant. We are also grandparents to two grandchildren, Eric and Lydia Faith.
Why are you seeking this office and what makes you qualified to hold it when elected?
I am seeking my fourth term on the Halifax County Board of Commissioners as an at-large candidate to continue the priorities, as in my previous three terms, which include increased job opportunities, better education for all students, senior citizen concerns, public safety and maintaining low property taxes. I am qualified to serve based on my 40 plus years of community involvement and having served as board chairman for the past eight years.
Would you support a tax increase to support critical capital needs or critical recurring expenses? Please explain why or why not?
I am not a proponent of increasing taxes to support critical capital needs or critical recurring expenses. I firmly believe that the governing body and county staff must be good stewards over taxpayer dollars and run the government efficiently. I would only support a tax increase for critical capital needs or critical recurring expenses as a last option.
Where do you stand on the issue of school merger?
I am opposed to school merger. I feel that community schools are a better option for educating students in a county as large as ours and provide more opportunities for school involvement.
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?
I support the proposed dog-hunting regulations that were passed on to lawmakers by the commissioners.
How would you go about recruiting economic development projects to locate in Halifax County?
Economic development is one of the major challenges for our county. I support continued efforts by the Halifax County Board of Commissioners along with the Economic Development Board of Directors and economic director in bringing economic development opportunities to our county.
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?
At the present time, I believe the existing detention facility is adequate.
The county has made many improvements to maintain the facility and will continue to do so until the county is in a better financial position to totally renovate or build a new detention center.
Do you identify as a conservative, liberal, or moderate?
I identify as a moderate.
Do you support the continuance of Zoom remote meetings?
I support the continuance of Zoom remote meetings until our pandemic numbers are better. Also, keep in mind that the governor has an executive order in place which allows the commissioners to meet remotely.
What is the biggest issue facing Halifax County and how would you address it when elected?
One of the biggest challenges facing Halifax County is education. The Halifax County Board of Commissioners fund all three public school districts based on average daily membership. Additionally, Halifax County provides additional capital funds to schools when requested, needed and funds are available.
The North Carolina Education Lottery funds are provided for each school district as requested by the individual districts. Halifax County also provides funding to the Halifax Community College.
Do you support raises for all county employees and do you go about sustaining those increases?
I strongly support pay raises for all Halifax County employees.
Who has been your biggest influence in your career?
My family has been the biggest influencer in my life and career.
Please provide a brief summation on what the board of commissioners would be like under your leadership
I bring varied experience in many areas including education, government and business while
serving on the Halifax County Board of Commissioners.
My service in the Halifax County community for over 40 years has well-prepared me as I continue to serve as a Halifax County commissioner.
The board in recent years have many accomplishments which include better pay for county employees, and Binderholz has purchased the Klausner II sawmill in the Enfield area.
Roseburg Forest Products located in Weldon, plans to bring a total investment of $200 million and plans to hire 137 full-time jobs over a two-year period.
Under my leadership, the Halifax County Board of Commissioners has a very good working relationship with schools and municipalities.
As a commissioner, I plan to effectively continue working together for our county.