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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Cheryl Coulson for Onslow County Commissioner

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

A: There is not one issue that I would consider the "most important".  Many of my platform points are deeply intertwined with one another.  My community involvement and Criminal Defense experience requires that I spend a great amount of time within our jail to work with clients, many that face addiction and live with mental health challenges.  I see our needs from within and I believe what we need currently is a Comprehensive Approach to Community Safety and Welfare.  

  • Enhanced Support for the Sheriff's Office

CURRENT ISSUE: Address the current challenges within the Sheriff's office, including the need for additional funding to accommodate staff and inmate needs.

PROPOSED SOLUTION: Advocate for increased budget allocation to improve facilities and offer better retention incentives for staff. Emphasize the importance of well-supported law enforcement in maintaining community safety.

  • Addressing Mental Health and Substance Abuse

CURRENT ISSUE: Highlight the strain on the jail system due to individuals with addiction and mental health issues, compounded by the rising concerns of gang violence.

PROPOSED SOLUTION: Propose the development of a larger, specialized facility for mental health and substance abuse. This would allow the jail to focus more on violent crimes and alleviate the burden of failing mental health and rehabilitation systems.

  • Supporting Emergency Services

CURRENT ISSUE: Discuss the challenges in attracting and retaining emergency service personnel, crucial in handling drug overdoses and mental health crises.

PROPOSED SOLUTION: Develop strategies to improve working conditions, provide competitive incentives, and offer better support systems for these critical frontline workers.

Q: If elected, would you support an increase in local option sales tax, and if so, would you support a decrease in the property tax rate?

A: I absolutely support an increased sales tax rate in order to decrease property taxes.  We live in a unique community in which the Military plays a large role.  It is essential for County officials to work collaboratively with military authorities, local residents, and businesses to strike a balance that ensures fair taxation while recognizing the contributions and unique challenges posed by the presence of a large military base.  It has become an even more pressing need to be able to decrease property tax with homeowners of Onslow being faced with skyrocketing insurance rates.  The combination of both could be detrimental to current homeowners and prevent others from choosing to make their home in Onslow.  

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

A: Running for County Commissioner represents my commitment to leveraging my legal background, community experience, and political engagement to drive positive change and advocate for the citizens of Onslow.  This step has been a natural progression of my Republican values and dedication to creating impactful changes at a local level.  My community involvement and experience working with clients who face addiction and live with mental health challenges has not only honed my empathetic skills but also deepened my understanding of the complex needs facing our society.  As I continue to evolve in my multifaceted roles, I have remained dedicated to being a voice for those in need and a force for positive transformation in our community. 

Q: If elected, would you support the construction of a multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex in Onslow County? 

A: A multi- purpose sports complex is something that I have been encouraging our local elected officials to consider for several years now.  I believe that we need to be able to better provide safe environments for our children to go to as well as having a location large enough to also act as a venue to bring entertainment revenue.

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

A: Yes, I think the best way to address the needs of the County if to communicate and listen to the citizens in every part of it.  


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