Candidates for the Town of Monroe Mayor answered questions from WFAE about why they should be elected (or reelected).
Retired CMPD Police Officer/Owner of a rescue services business FROST.
Political experience and/or advocacy groups you are affiliated with:
I have been deeply involved with my community for decades. I founded a non-profit group, Warriors & Warbirds, that focused on educating our young people regarding the sacrifices that were made by local veterans,as well as providing additional historical education to the community. Through this group, I also worked with a friend/partner and started what is now the largest event in Union County, the Warbirds Over Monroe Airshow.
I have worked closely with animal welfare groups in an effort to improve the lives of companion animals in the city & county. Animal care laws in the area are minimal and I've always felt a need to advocate for better codes and laws to protect the creatures that share our lives. Watching the suffering around us is hard on quality of life for many of our community members and I think we can do better.
Overall I always believe we need to start putting the quality of life and safety of our citizens first.
Does your city/town get adequate resources from the Charlotte Area Transit System considering the countywide half-cent sales tax that helps fund it? If not, do you think your town would be better served keeping the money to create its own transit solution?
It's hard to speak to the past but looking forward I don't belive that what we get will be adequate services from CAT based on the approved new growth coming to the area. A significant number of the new homeowners will work in Mecklenburg County and the transportation issues must be addressed. Our City currently doesn't have the resources or the ability to manage an independent transportation system that could adequately serve its potential new citizens.
In its role on the Metropolitan Transit Commission, does the city of Charlotte (54% voting power) listen to the needs of surrounding towns/cities?
I believe downtown Monroe and the surrounding area has been overlooked for years due to location and the popularity of areas such as Waxhaw, Fort Mill, Rock Hill and Concord. Developers have finally had to look to the Monroe area for development opportunities and I now believe the commission will have to start listening and working more of Union County into future plans simply because ridership will increase exponentially.
What is the biggest quality-of-life issue facing residents of your city/town and how will you address it?
Irresponsible development is about to be our biggest challenge to quality of life. It will impact every aspect of day to day living. Infrastructure and emergency services will be stretched to the limit to handle the explosive growth. EMS has stated they won't be able to provide the same level of service without expansion of all departments. With a crime rating of 3, Monroe already has significant problems that need to be addressed. More people but no more officers won't help. The school district has also admitted that enrollment will be problematic at the current growth rate. All areas of the city are being stretched thin and we need to address the pending issues while also being fiscally responsible with tax dollars and providing quality housing and lifestyle for people who call Monroe home.
What should your city/town do to address climate change?
We desperately need to incorporate more green space into our city. We are losing thousands of acres of trees to developers that are clearcutting prior to construction with no real efforts at the planning stage to offset or improve on that. Additionally, we have already lost our rating as a NC Tree City USA, which I'd like to work on getting back. Monroe is known for drinking water quality issues and the excessive runoff from over developed land will definitely contribute further to the problem. We also need to improve and expand our current recycling programs to include glass and other items as well as better educate the community on good recycling practices. Expansion of litter control would be a benefit on many levels as well.
What is your top priority if elected?
As Mayor, I would encourage people to get involved with their city and help them feel comfortable in sharing with leadership the direction they want to see things go. Further, I'd want to make sure that residents know they are being heard and their concerns are actually being addressed. I'd like to be a Mayor who is seen, not just at easy functions but the difficult ones too. I'd make it a priority to find ways for people to easily access city business by recording ALL city committee meetings and posting them for viewing. I'd reinstate community walkthroughs, not just every decade but every year so city employees have boots-on-the ground knowledge of community needs. We need to remember that Monroe is a city made of and by its citizens, not the politicians. We are elected to serve.
Anderson has not responded.
Burns has not responded.
Casanova has not responded.
James has not responded.