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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Brad George for Pender County Commissioner

Q: What is the primary issue facing the county that led you to run for office?

A: As a lifelong resident of Pender County and having spent over 10 years on the Pender County Board of Education it allowed me the opportunity to witness the effects of rapid unplanned growth. The current UDO hasn’t been updated since 2010, the comprehensive land use plan is outdated, and the future land use map doesn’t reflect the current needs of the county. With the rapid development Pender is stressed in keeping up the services that the citizens desire and are entitled to. Funds are constantly having to be prioritized to maintain the current level of services leaving little to go towards enhance or expand, this causes areas of the county to become neglected and continue to fall farther behind. While residential development is a way to expand the tax base and has been the theory for a while, there comes a time when the balance shifts to becoming a tax burden Pender is at that tipping point. It is time for more focus directed toward economic growth and development in the form of new commercial and industrial growth to help reduce the tax burden currently placed on the residential taxpayers.

Q: Would you support the purchase of county beach land to allow Pender County residents the opportunity to enjoy the beach without having to pay for parking. If not, would you work with local beach communities in Pender County to obtain a reduced rate for parking for Pender County residents?

A: I would not support the purchase of “county beach land” With the enormous needs facing all of Pender County, needs such as competitive salaries for county employees, increase staffing for the Sheriff department, modernized county complexes that staff feel pride in working at, expanding the parks and recreation offers, the list goes on. As for working with local beach communities for a reduced rate, I feel the two beach towns within Pender County do an outstanding job managing one of the largest industries in Pender County. If they were willing to offer that would be great, but I don’t feel as if that is a county commissioners place to make such a request. The parking fees collected go toward beach nourishment, these funds reduce the amount of request from the County general fund.

Q: What are your skills and experiences that make you the right choice for Pender County voters?

A: I served 10.5 years as an elected member of the BOE, and currently hold an appointment to the Pender board of commissioner. This experience has allowed me to work through numerous budget preparations, the ability to work with local and state officials, and the opportunity to see all areas of Pender’s 900 plus square miles. These experiences allowed me to realize that one size doesn’t fit all, and that there are vast differences in the needs and wants between eastern and western Pender.

Q: If elected, would you attend local town meetings that are within Pender County to hear their concerns and to show the support of the Pender County Board of Commissioners?

A: If elected yes, I would attend any local or county meeting to which I was invited. I have done that in the past and will continue.

Q: If elected, what would you do to address the major concerns of the safety of travelers on Highway 17 in the Hampstead area?

A: Living on the northern side of Hampstead and traveling to work in New Hanover County I realize like anyone the challenges I’ve had the same pleasure as others, the opportunity to be stuck for extended periods of time getting home. Unfortunately, the option for any local elected official is extremely limited. The county has no control over any roadways, speed limits are set by the NCDOT, law enforcement is performed by NC Highway Patrol, with limited traffic enforcement by the Pender County Sheriff's department. That restricts the local county government to lobbying for those changes, and lobbying for increased law enforcement presents.

Q: Would you consider a moratorium on construction until the bypass was completed?

A: I have explored the requirements already, unfortunately it isn’t as easy as it sounds. NC General statute 160D-107 outlines the requirements.


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