rrspin.com submitted the following questions for all the candidates:
I reside in Roanoke Rapids near Chockoyotte Park. I moved here in 2006 from Norwalk, Ct.
I am retired, teaching Adult Continuing Education at Halifax Community College since 2009.
I'm the father of three children, two boys, one girl, no grands (no hurry).
I hold a GED for high school and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in African-American Studies from Fordham University in New York.
Civic, church or other community organizations of which you are involved
I currently sit on three community services boards in Halifax County: The Roanoke Rapids Planning Board, the Juvenile Crime Prevention Board for Halifax County and the Human Relations Board for Halifax County; which I'd like to help make more functional.
Why are you running; why do you believe you are qualified to run; what difference can you make or in the case of an incumbent candidate, what difference have you made?
I'm running for a seat on the county commissioners board because I see gaps in services and inequities in spirit of the existing board members. I have been a catalyst to increase voter interest and participation in local elections since I started running for office in 2014. I have successfully helped candidates become elected in the Roanoke Valley since 2008.
Would you support renovations for Weldon High School or do you support construction of a new school? Please explain your reasons on why or why not?
I am in favor of repairing or replacing Weldon High School, whichever is the most feasible. It is obvious that it needs to be done. Cost effectiveness as well as duration of a final plan.I don't think a $38k consultant plan was necessary to reach this conclusion.
Over the past year or so, commissioners and funding of education, particularly in the county school system, have come under fire. Do you believe schools are being adequately funded? Why are or why not? What do we have to do to create top-tier school systems in Halifax County?
I think the schools are not being funded equitably. The primary effort for all school systems should be to improve academic performance. Our current county commissioners deny responsibility in this area. To improve our schools, our focus should be centered on finding the best affordable methodologies to improve reading and comprehension for all of our students.
What is the role of county commissioners in recruiting economic development? What needs to be done to strike a balance between industrial, commercial and retail development in Halifax County?
Economic development hinges on the ability of our population to have a sound basic education in order grasp concepts and technologies as they rapidly change.
Do you have any personal financial issues which might make the public perceive you would not be a good steward of the county’s money — foreclosures, liens, bankruptcy filings, things of that nature? If so how do you convince the public they can trust you with taxpayer money?
Any financial issues that I might have would not affect my ability to serve in the capacity of commissioner. Any perceptions to the contrary would be subjective and prejudicial. Poverty corrupts as does wealth. There is always a place of balance.
It appears there is a new push to put school merger back on the table for discussion. What are your thoughts on school merger either pro or con? Please elaborate on your beliefs on the matter.
The school merger issue falls under my views of goals for education. Improve academic performance and all three systems will be equal.
What are some other issues you believe need to be addressed in Halifax County and how would you go about addressing them?
I would advocate for economic empowerment zones in each township. All properties not in use for 3-plus years should be auctioned or rented at their current tax value. A moratorium should be set to freeze tax increases so that owners could afford improvements. This would give incentives for business development and hold costs down which in turn would hold down costs of goods and services to make them more affordable to the community at large.