Wake County Commission 6 — Betty Lou Ward (D)
Political Party: Democrat
Campaign website: None
What do you think is the central issue for this election and how do you plan to address it?
I think the central issue for the county commissioner race is definitely transportation and that goes along with the increase in population of our student body in the public schools. Transportation is a major issue to me and we have not addressed that as a board. I think it is something that needs to be discussed. I think it is something that voters need to have placed before them on the ballot so that they can express themselves and be able to decided how and help us decide how to move ahead with this issue.
Why should your constituents elect you?
Because I’m open minded. Because I have experience and because I really care about the people of Wake County. I care about what’s happening today and I also care about what going to happen in the future. I care about our grandchildren and those children yet to come. I think that if we don’t care today that we’ll be sorry tomorrow. I think that is just a given. And we see things that have been neglected in the past and when those issues come up again in the present then we’re always sad that they haven’t been dealt with before.
How can the County Commission support the school system’s efforts to deal with growth?
Well the county commissioners are the money bank with this. The school board has no tax levying authority, which to me is a mistake. They should have tax levying authority. The money should follow the process but that doesn’t happen in North Carolina. So therefore I think we have to be extra diligent and extra cautions in making sure that we give them enough money to be able to operate the schools. I don’t think we’ve truly done that in quite a while. It’s just a matter of getting everyone to agree to move forward and we haven’t done that. So therefore I feel they have a special opportunity to press our board and to press hard to say we need a bond issue and we need more money.
Transit has been a hot topic in Wake County this year. What do you think about the future of transit options in Wake County?
I think transit is a major issue. As we have grown and we’re almost at a million people now, we definitely need to address that and we need to address it fully and need to be able to put it to a vote of the people to be able to move ahead. Durham County, Orange County, they’re supposed to be in our region to deal with transit. They have already put it to the vote of the people, the people have approved it and they are ready to move on. We aren’t, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be. We definitely should be and moving on.
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