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Commission Candidate Mike Cross answers League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham, Chatham Counties, a nonpartisan political organization, developed a questionnaire for the Chatham County candidates for Commissioner in Districts 1 and 2. All candidates were notified of the questions and asked to respond for later publication by Chatham County Line. The questions were designed to educate the Chatham voters on the qualifications of the local candidates for the office and to receive their thoughts on the issues. Three candidates responded and the questions and their reply is as follows:
1) What skills, education or public service experience do you have to be considered for the position of Chatham County Commissioner for your district?
Four years as Commissioner from District 2 devoted to serving ALL citizens of Chatham. I work hard to understand the issues and to move us forward in a planned and responsible manner. Please visit my website: www.cross4chatham.com and www.chathamnc.org for biography, BOC assignments and training.
2) Currently there is a moratorium on residential development in Chatham County. How would additional growth in the County be handled when the moratorium expires? AND a) how would you ensure sufficient water and sewage facilities to accommodate the new growth? b) What new environmental and energy standards would you propose for new development both residential and commercial?
Future growth will be directed according to the revised and new ordinances, regulations and procedures being developed during our moratorium. We currently have plans to expand our East Jordan water treatment plant and we are working with our neighboring counties and municipalities to build a West Jordan regional water treatment intake and treatment plant. We have recently received permission to request up to 19 million gallons per day in treated waste water discharge allocation into the upper Cape Fear River. We will be having a summit with our county and municipal leadership in October to discuss water/waste water possibilities. We have established our Green Building Taskforce to review development proposals and seek maximum environmental and energy standards.
3) For reasons including development, climate change, and agricultural run-off, our rivers such as the Rocky River and Haw are severely stressed. How would you address this problem if you were the commissioner?
We have added an Environmental Resources Director, an Erosion/Sedimentation Control Officer. We have increased setbacks and buffers beyond state requirements. We are seeking lower nutrient level regulations for Jordan Lake and I strongly support the efforts of the Haw River Assembly and the Rocky River Heritage Foundation to keep our water resources clean and viable.
4) What actions items would you consider proposing to the Board of Commissioners to make Chatham County the model County for the State?
Our budget process is the model used by the UNC School of Government. We have expanded our buffers/setbacks to better protect our water resources and we have regulation enforcement personnel in place. Open government and citizen participation are highly encouraged. We must strive for excellence in all aspects of our governance.
5) In light of the rising fuel costs for individuals who commute several miles each day, would you consider additional County parking lots for park and ride services to Chatham, Orange. Lee or Wake Counties where many citizens travel to work or utilize community based activities or services? What other services would you consider?
We are already working towards these goals with Chapel Hill, Pittsboro, Siler City, Sanford and our Regional Transportation Planning Organization. The Park and Ride issue comes down to a transit provider and tax payer funding to subsidize the expense. We do not have the tax base to support this today, but we are working on it and I would expect to see some additional transit service within the next 2-5 years.