WISE USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SAVINGS
We need to take a leadership role at the local government level to address the effects of climate change. I’ve worked hard during my time as the chair of the local Sierra Club, as a member of the Foundation for Sustainable Communities’ Community Leadership Collaboration, and as a member of the Carolina North Leadership Advisory Council to encourage the county and our three municipalities to take actions that will make a difference. I will work with all sectors of the community to reduce CO2 emissions by:
- Setting energy efficiency standards for new construction – from building materials to design.
- Encouraging energy-efficiency in existing public facilities and residences through retrofitting of plumbing, heating and insulation.
- These steps will help reduce energy bills residential, non-residential and government buildings, while creating business and job opportunities for Orange County residents.
GROWTH SUPPORTED BY WATER RESOURCES
My long-time concern for water resources led to my serving six years on the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) Board of Directors. . I want to ensure that our population growth does not make us more vulnerable to droughts, particularly as Droughts may become more frequent in the future.. As a County Commissioner, I will take a leadership role on the issue of water resources, and will
- Encourage Orange County to coordinate the management of water resources and land use plans with local water utilities and municipal authorities in Hillsborough, Mebane, Efland, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro.
- Advocate for the use of water efficiency standards in our land development regulations.
We can maintain our supply of water by developing common-sense standards for landscaping and irrigation, allowing safe use of graywater systems, and establishing guidelines for high-efficiency plumbing fixtures.
PROMOTION OF CLEAN AIR THROUGH TRANSIT INFRASTRUCTURE
Our health and that of our children will suffer if we do not take additional steps to improve our air quality. I serve on the Triangle’s Special Transit Advisory Committee, which is developing recommendations for a regional transportation system that links the major destinations within Orange, Durham and Wake Counties and interfaces with local transportation systems within these and adjoining counties. We must be committed to promoting a transportation system that makes it easy for people in Orange County to get to jobs, school, entertainment and shopping destinations – while preserving air quality.
STRONG SUPPORTER OF LOCAL ECONOMIC GROWTH
LOCALLY-OWNED BUSINESSES WITH A GOOD WAGE
Economic development should create jobs which will provide good wages. I will promote economic policies that encourage the creation of locally owned and run businesses, which reinvest their profits locally, purchase supplies and services locally, and support community endeavors.
PROMOTION OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY
One of the basic values that of Orange County residents support is the rural character of the county. Increasingly, we seek out locally grown organic food products. I will work to improve the viability and growth of small farms and value-added agricultural businesses such as storage, marketing, and food processing. We can capitalize on our farm resources by promoting eco-tourism and agricultural education centers, and encouraging the growing market for locally grown products.
PROMOTE LIGHT INDUSTRY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL-SECTOR JOBS
Given the commitment of Orange County citizens to a healthy environment, we should be a leader in driving economic development through the generation of new technologies that are good for the earth. We could have companies that recycle food waste, convert recycled materials into saleable products, and provide energy retrofitting of homes to lower energy costs. County planning efforts should use Smart Growth principles to attempt to site such businesses close to the work force and to public transportation.
MEETING SOCIAL NEEDS
EDUCATION RESOURCES FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS
A good quality education system meets the needs of the individual and prepares our youth to be productive citizens. It is in the interest of all county residents that all our children graduate from high school. I support fair funding to take into account the differing needs of children.
FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF SERVICES
Mental health, health, job training and other social services are more effective when provided in a coordinated fashion. I will work for priority access to services for our youth in order to prevent problems in adulthood, so that in the long-term, every individual can contribute to and fully participate in our community. I will promote multi-use community park and recreation facilities that expand access to people county-wide.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR ALL INCOME LEVELS
We need to increase the pool of affordable housing – for both low-income and middle-income residents. I will work to create an all-encompassing plan for housing which coordinates efforts among all the elected bodies and the various non-profit housing agencies in the county, and to ensure that development within the county has affordable housing incentives.
ACCESSIBLE AND OPEN GOVERNANCE WITH LEADERSHIP
INCREASED OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMMUNITY INPUT
In order to address issues of importance, the County Commission needs better public input – including more opportunities for informal communication. I will
- Host small community and town hall style meetings on a regular basis in different sections of the county.
- Encourage citizens from all areas of the county to apply for membership on the county’s Advisory Boards.
- Make sure that information on county activities and plans is available to citizens in a timely fashion.
ABILITY TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT COMPLEX ISSUES
County Commissioners are faced with making decisions in many areas that affect our lives today and our future. The Board needs to balance the county’s social, economic and environmental needs. I pledge to do my homework to ensure that I have all the necessary information to make good decisions for this community. This means visiting sites such as the schools, county facilities and programs and proposed new developments. I am committed to working toward a common understanding of the issues among various groups before making decisions on important issues that affect Orange County.
PROMOTE ENHANCED SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Community-building was one of the principal goals of the Shaping Orange County Future Task Force, which I served on. I will actively work to enhance a sense of community so that all citizens feel listened to and included. We must capitalize on the rich diversity of rural and urban residents, individuals of various ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds, and individuals of various age groups to work together for a sustainable future.