What is your position on the proposed agreement with Sanford for water and sewer treatment for Siler City?
Water & sewer are two of the most important issues facing Siler City. To accommodate the anticipated growth expected, an agreement with the Town of Sanford is being considered. At this point, very few details about this agreement have been shared with anyone but an agreement with Sanford does appear to be a good choice. My goal is to make sure that the citizens of Siler City have a voice or a “seat at the table” once an agreement has been reached. I also wish for this process to be as transparent as possible regarding the details and to make sure these details are fully presented to our citizens so they will understand the changes that are anticipated.
What are your plans for upgrading or maintaining the infrastructure in Siler City, such as roads, public buildings, broadband access, and other utilities?
Not all roads are maintained by Siler City. There are several roads that run through town that are owned and controlled by the NCDOT and they are responsible for maintenance of these roads. For roads that are maintained by the town, we have a running list of streets that need attention. Each year, we work on the most needed projects in each district. The same is true for the replacement of water and sewer pipes. We are currently working on a storm water study to see what we can do to help control the occasional flooding we experience. We are also looking into what kind of partnerships we can explore to increase our broadband access.
How will you engage with the community to ensure that the voices of all residents are heard and considered in town decision making?
First of all, I have encouraged all interested citizens to attend our bi-monthly board meetings either in person or by zoom. We have also recently started to have meetings by districts to allow citizens to express their concerns in a more casual atmosphere. Since we also have a lot of new staff, it gives the citizens a chance to interact with the staff and put a name with a face. For particular events that will greatly impact our citizens – such as a water/sewer agreement with Sanford – I am encouraging the board to hold detailed public meetings to explain the process and the changes and to receive input from our citizens. In addition, we are in the early stages of updating our Facebook page so that it offers a more interactive experience.
How will you ensure the town is prepared for emergencies and what are plans for enhancing public safety?
Two of my top priorities have always been to supply our police and fire departments with the tools necessary to get their jobs done. A big challenge, particularly since Covid, has been to keep our PD fully staffed. With the increased pressure on compensation and the close proximity to larger municipalities, this has become more difficult. We have implemented several recruiting incentives and have seen some success. Due to these limitations, the PD building has been closed in the evenings. Though we do have police patrolling all hours, I would hope that eventually we can increase staff enough that there is once again a PD presence in the building during the evenings. For the fire department, we have implemented a study to explore options for an additional fire house due to the anticipated growth.
Why are you running for Mayor?
I have lived and worked in Siler City all my life. The people of this town have been good to me, and it is a privilege to serve the citizens of this great town. One of my main reasons for running again for mayor is that I think we have made many positive changes, and I want to continue that trend. This is a crucial time for Siler City and I want to play my part to assure that our children and our grandchildren have the opportunity to live and work in a caring community where they can thrive and raise their families.