2019 Candidate Questionnaire – COMMISSIONER, TOWN OF PITTSBORO

Pam Cash-Roper

Posted 10/11/19

Pam Cash-Roper

Date/place of birth: November 22, 1953; Chatham County

Current occupation: Retired nurse

Campaign website/social media: None

Family: Husband Keith, deceased; Children …

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2019 Candidate Questionnaire – COMMISSIONER, TOWN OF PITTSBORO

Pam Cash-Roper

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Posted

Pam Cash-Roper

Date/place of birth: November 22, 1953; Chatham County

Current occupation: Retired nurse

Campaign website/social media: None

Family: Husband Keith, deceased; Children Diana Huff, Jesse Robert Huff, Melissa Korey Roper and Joanna Waters, deceased. 

Party affiliation: Democrat

Current and previous elected offices held or sought & terms of service: I was elected as the second vice-chair for the Chatham County Democratic Party and served for four years until March of 2019.

Campaign manager (if applicable): None

Campaign treasurer: Virginia J. Penley

Why are you seeking this office?: I am running for town board because I care for the town and all of the people in our town and county. To that end, I believe that I will give a voice to citizens and stakeholders who need to be heard in our community. I intend to be an elected official who will be proactive, listen, learn and then address the needs of the town and its citizens. And if elected I would be the only person on the board who lives in an affordable housing community, which gives me a unique perspective on this important issue.

What is your understanding of the responsibilities of the office you seek, and in one sentence, why do you believe you’re qualified to fill that role?: Members of the Town Board set the policy goals for the community, hire and fire the Town Manager, set the Town’s tax rate, its water and sewer rates and pass the budget. In North Carolina we have a Town Manager/Town Council form of government, which is a weak Mayor system. The Town is managed by a professional manager and the council members are democratically elected. I believe as a retired nurse, who grew up and was educated in Chatham County and who is now a widow, that I have a unique perspective on our community and the pressures of wealth and income inequality on our citizens. 

One of the most important decisions that elected officials make is on the annual budget, which includes spending and tax rates. Do you have a budgeting philosophy? What’s more important to you — spending more to allocate resources to needed programs or cutting spending and keeping the tax rate low?: In North Carolina municipalities are required to balance their budgets. It is apparent that the Town has been consistently growing its revenues since 2005. I am a pragmatist so I would take input from the citizens and stakeholders of the community and allocate resources to reflect community needs. For example, the community needs new water and sewer infrastructure and we will need a healthy tax base to pay for a new water treatment plant.

Give us two goals that are specific, measurable and attainable you would have if elected: I will support the investment in more affordable housing projects such as the community where I live. I will support the investment in improving Pittsboro’s water and sewer infrastructure.

The Commissioner’s main responsibility is to place votes on issues crucial to the town. What would be your philosophy on choosing whether or not to vote for an item? Do you have an example of a similar decision in the past?: I am not afraid to make difficult decisions and anyone who knows me will attest that I am a straight forward “common sense” type of a person. I have been through the crucible with the death of my husband and daughter, so I am not afraid to face challenges head on.

Pittsboro is on the edge of a growing area and will soon be growing itself, if projections hold true. How do you think that reality would affect your decision-making as a board member?: Pittsboro has been growing for years and is already entirely different than the town I recall growing up as a little girl in Chatham County. The bottom line is simply this: “it is not if we grow, but how we grow.” The how part of the equation is where the rubber will meet the road and where I will find an appropriate balance between growth and the Pittsboro I grew up loving as a child.

What do you think are Pittsboro’s three best features?: The Historic Courthouse. The Main Street downtown. The creative culture in and around town.

What are three areas where Pittsboro can improve?: Frankly the Town could aesthetically look nicer — we could bury the power lines downtown. We need to improve the sidewalks in and around town. Some of them are dangerous. Pittsboro also needs to commit to make the best quality water in the Piedmont.

If you are not elected, what steps will you take to serve Pittsboro?: I will continue to work with the Chatham County Democratic Party, I will continue to advocate for affordable housing and I will be open to serve on an advisory board for the town.

Biographical Facts

Political/government hero: Barack Obama

Favorite book: “The Diary of Anne Frank”

Book most recently read: “Runaway Inequality” by Les Leopold

Favorite film: “Once Upon a Time in the West”

Hobbies: Reading, gaming (I am a grandma who is a gamer), cooking.

Church/civic involvement: I work with the Chatham County Democratic Party and the Community Watch with Bellemont Pointe Apartments.

Personal motto or one-line philosophy: “Live every day like it’s your last.”

Strongest childhood ambition: I wanted to be a nurse and I became a nurse.

Most significant life goal you’ve accomplished: Love and care for my children and family.

Goal you haven’t accomplished yet: I have not seen my grandchildren grown.

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