More letters, May 4

May 2, 2014 

Blackwood stands tall

In just a few short days, you will be given the opportunity to truly make a difference. On Tuesday, the voting polls in Orange County will open and once again, the American people will be allowed a privilege that few others in the world are granted: the opportunity to vote.

One candidate that clearly stands above the rest.

I ask you to think about what it really is you want in a sheriff. Do you want to not only feel safe but also be safe? Do you want a huge effort placed on eliminating drugs in Orange County? Do you want the senior citizens of Orange County checked in on regularly? Do you want civil process served efficiently? Do you want a sheriff who is fiscally responsible with your tax dollars? Do you want a sheriff who is accessible to the people he serves? Do you want a sheriff who is honest? Do you want a sheriff who will protect your family as if it were his own? Do you want a sheriff who is the most qualified to serve you?

If the answer is yes, Charles Blackwood is your only choice. Let his record speak for itself. Charles Blackwood has served, for almost 32 years, in practically every capacity there is in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Charles Blackwood has risen the entire spectrum of ranks from a road patrol deputy to major (which is second in command) in ONE agency, The Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Charles Blackwood is a proven law enforcement officer and a proven leader!

J. Todd Hardee

The writer is the Darlington County coroner in Darlington, S.C.

Jacobs prioritizes schools

I support the re-election of Barry Jacobs as one of our Orange County commissioners because I know firsthand his commitment to meet the educational needs of all of the children of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) and Orange County Schools (OCS). I also know he will continue to work to find a financial solution to meet the capital needs of the countys older schools.

While chair of the CHCCS Board of Education, I worked directly with Commissioner Jacobs. He consistently demonstrates a firm commitment to the public education of our children. An example of his leadership is the proactive, collaborative discussions he continues to champion regarding the need for a meaningful bond referendum to provide appropriate funding to address the severe capital needs of older schools; this initiative will simultaneously increase our schools capacity and postpone the need for future school sites.

Commissioner Jacobs appreciates the complexities involved with this needed initiative and has the experience to help all parties work together to see the bond through in a time frame that is meaningful.

Another example of his leadership is his reinstatement of an informal process to improve thoughtful discourse between the various chairs and vice chairs from OCS, CHCCS, and the Board of County Commissioners. His initiative enhanced the productivity of future discussions of the full boards and everyone's understandingof the landscape. The end result is all elected officials are betterequipped to serve their constituents.

Michelle (Shell) Brownstein

Chapel Hill

Hauser is a uniter

Bonnie Hauser is a candidate for Orange County commissioner-at-large, and exactly the leader we need to help unite our urban, suburban, rural communities on the things we cherish: education, environmental stewardship and quality services.

Today, our four governments operate in isolation. Bonnie’s work in Emergency Services (supported by Commissioner McKee and then Commissioner Foushee) demonstrated that we all benefit with the towns and county professionals (not politicians) work together to plan solutions and share resources.

Consider that it’s been two years since the county decided to close the landfill. Yet there been no conversations on how to work together to reduce trash (and expense) using simple programs such as kitchen composting.

Bonnie’s background in professional management and community leadership fit well with her can-do commitment to hard work and transparency. Her skills are desperately needed over the business-as-usual perspective that relies almost exclusively on tax increases to solve problems and meet the challenges of the future. She brings the right perspective to grow and diversify our tax base rather than continuing to erode it with more county offices and land acquisitions that do nothing to protect farms or water.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if our leaders spent more time searching for better ways to serve all citizens. “Them vs. us” on schools, libraries and other services have cost too much for too long. Please cast your vote for Bonnie Hauser on Tuesday and let’s commission her to help get real cooperation and action on the pressing issues facing our communities.

Anne J. Montgomery

Hillsborough

Hauser challenges status quo

As a Libertarian, I am happy to see Orange County citizens challenge the status quo.

This election is about Orange County. It is not about the Tea Party or the anti-Tea Party. Attempts to label candidates with reactionary labels is an intentional attempt to avoid discussing Orange County issues.

It is a local election about electing leaders who will allocate our limited resources responsibly.

Do we need a parking garage in Hillsborough that is 30 percent full? I am sure this will be challengened but take the time and check it out. Do we need to continue to build buildings with name plates, or determine where we need to spend money to improve our county?

This is a local election; as Orange county citizens we need to vote for candidates who will allocate our money responsibility. We should not fall for diversionary labels. We do not have unlimited resources, so let us elect someone who will challenge how our resources are spent.

This election is not about Congressman Price, President Obama or unsupported labels, it is about Orange county.

I support Bonnie Hauser because she has the proven ability and compassion to help our county allocate resources to meet real needs. As citizens, it is time for us to challenge our elected leaders to show the results of their actions.

Matthew Roberts

Efland

Marcoplos, Hauser for a change

The past four years I was a Chapel Hill Town Council member and will be voting for change in the county commissioners election – voting for Mark Marcoplos and Bonnie Hauser. I have many reasons, but space only allows me to mention two: 1) mismanagement of the closure of the landfill, and 2) a dismal record of economic development.

I supported closing the landfill, but after decades of discussion the commissioners voted for the closure with no plan for how our communities would dispose of their trash; nor did they have a plan for paying for the Rogers Road community improvements. This mismanagement is costing the citizens of Chapel Hill a minimum of $600,000 a year in additional hauling trash costs until a long-term solution is figured out. Mr. Marcoplos has a specific plan for the solution to implement now, which makes enormous sense, while his opponent wants to create another committee and hire consultants to figure it out.

Ms. Hauser has a strong professional background in business, and both she and Mr. Marcoplos have specific proposals – he for small businesses and she for revamping the funding of our schools, which are both refreshing and creative. I have seen nothing remotely new from the incumbents, and their track record in economic development is embarrassing.

I am tired of paying some of highest taxes in the state and therefore am voting for change.

Gene Pease

Chapel Hill

Please vote

Not so long ago, we saw joy on the faces of first-time voters in Iraq. The men and women held up their stained index fingers, proudly displaying proof of their participation. They had the right to vote in a free election and they rejoiced.

For over eight years, I have served in my Orange County precinct as a poll worker. My voting precinct is engaged politically, and has had a participation rate of over 70 percent in a presidential election. However, other elections have had dismal rates.

On Tuesday, North Carolina is having a primary election. This is the time when candidates are chosen by each party to run in the general election for county, city, state, senatorial and congressional races. One could argue that the most critical decisions are made when candidates are chosen. In addition, because of the low participation rates, a single vote is more likely to make a difference.

Please vote. Make your choices based on research. Look at what candidates have done in the past; it is the best indication of their future actions.

Do not think that you have insufficient time to become informed. What else could possibly be as important to your future, and the future of your family and your business?

Elections have consequences. Voting is a right and a privilege. Use it!

Cynthia Wheaton

Chapel Hill

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