Last updated: October 28. 2013 10:29PM - 1775 Views

David Browder
David Browder
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Teressa Victoria Beavers for council


What do you bring to the table that you believe the council has been lacking?


I am an advocate for our children. My 28 years’ experience as a teacher, school administrator, academic coach and Doctor of Education, proves my love for children. I value education. Our children are our future and the next citizens of Rockingham. They should want to grow up here and stay here, rather than grow up and move away. Children our greatest resource.


We have done some fantastic things for the city with the opening of the Blue Trail and Discovery Place Kids. As a citizen who has grown up here, I value these things. They keep the city “alive”. Any festival or event in town brings people to town with excitement. As I visit other towns and cities, and although small, they offer activities to attract newcomers and provide cultural opportunities for the current residents. The activities on the square and the community theater are great resources, but we need to find more creative ways that will bring more citizens to the downtown area.

What three major changes would you propose to policies, events or infrastructure?


A new homeless shelter is needed. There are individuals in Rockingham who are less fortunate than we are. Many of these citizens have fallen on hard times and we as blessed individuals and Christians need to help them when we can. There are a lot of compassionate folks and church members who have reached out to them. They spend their time preparing food. When we have “done it unto the least of these, we have done it unto Him.”

Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership.


I have been a leader as teacher, federal grant project director, and civic group leader. I have served as lead teacher and school administrator. I have served in many offices in local groups including the Gideons International’s Auxiliary. I directed a three million dollar grant and was responsible as project director, for the day to day operation of the activities.

How do you plan to spend the taxpayer’s money wisely?


As a taxpayer who is conscientious of how my personal tax dollars are spent, I certainly want to be sure the council spends wisely. The grant I directed was all tax payer funds and as project director, I spent it wisely to help the most children. I will approve projects as if I am spending my own money, and I am not going to waste my own money. I think taxpayers have a right to know how their dollars are spent therefore, I believe in transparency.

Travis Billingsley for council


What do you bring to the table that you believe the council has been lacking?


While serving on council, I have seen firsthand what city staff does daily to make Rockingham a better place to live. My goal has always been to support those that work for the city. I strongly believe that council should be a body that not only serves those that live in the city but those that work for it. So I have never approached my role as to identify what’s lacking, but rather how I can fill a gap when needed. No individual contribution makes the city successful, but rather the collective contribution of all.


What three major changes would you propose to policies, events or infrastructure?


I would not suggest any major changes, but rather continue to support and implement the Shaping Our Future:2023 City of Rockingham Land Use Plan. I believe the plan clearly outlines the city’s direction and I fully support its intent. The plan was highly driven by citizens’ input and offers an array of workable initiatives. I strongly believe that I serve at the pleasure of the citizens of Rockingham and they have clearly outlined my objectives in this plan. I would encourage everyone to review the track record of the previous plan. There is no need for me to suggest major changes when the citizens of Rockingham have spoken and given such clear directions.


Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership.


Since serving on council, I have been fortunate to have worked on a number of initatives that have allotted me the opportunity to work in concert with city staff and my fellow council members. Discovery Place KIDS, Hitchcock Creek, Rockingham Motor Speedway, the future sports complex and keeping the lowest water-sewer rates within the state are a few that come to mind. Each of these projects allowed council and other entities to make Rockingham truly a city looking forward. I am humbled that I have had the opportunity to work beside such talented people. Success is not defined by your own actions, but rather by the success of others.


How do you plan to make sure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely?


Continue to support three fundamental pillars: People, Processes and Services. Support the people that work and manage the city. Continue to ensure we have strong processes in place to carry us into the future. Lastly, continue to provide a strong level of services to the citizens of Rockingham that are sustainable.


Denise Sullivan for council


What do you bring to the table that you believe the council has been lacking?


First I would like to say that it has been my privilege to serve on City Council. I was so humbled to receive the appointment when Mayor Morris moved to his present position. I am learning so much about Rockingham and the people. The council that I serve with, I have the utmost respect. I know that each one truly cares for the city and the people. Decisions made are based on consideration of what is best for the people. We all serve Rockingham wanting and working to make this a better place to live. I share their vision for the city and feel that I come with ability to make sound decisions for the betterment of this town.


What three major changes would you propose to policies, events or infrastructure?


The council adopted the land development plan Shaping our Future 2023. This plan looks at where the city of Rockingham is, where we are going and how to get there. In this plan, goals are set for the city that will bring about a strong community that is both highly livable for its citizens and desirable for business and industry. Three goals I consider most important: Improving the local economy by continuing to support the growth and expansion of existing businesses and industries; improving community appearance must remain an important issue; improve and increase public recreation opportunities in the city.


Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership.


Serving in leadership positions can often be difficult. I served as chairperson for the board of the Housing Authority during the investigation for misuse of funds. Making decisions that have an impact on someone’s job and their livelihood is probably one of the hardest positions that I have ever been involved with. I had to look beyond professional relationships and represent the city and what would be expected of the people.


How do you plan to make sure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely?


Rockingham is fortunate to be in a sound financial position given the state of the economy. We have been able to continue the same level of services with no tax increase and minimal increase in water and sewer. The spending of the city is authorized through the council’s adoption of the budget. We have budgetary controls in place to ensure adherence to the budget. The council receives monthly financial statements that assist us in monitoring of actual revenues, expenditures and budgeted amounts.


Gene Willard for council


What do you bring to the table that you believe the council has been lacking?


I believe as a lifetime resident of Rockingham and now an active member of the retired community, I bring to the table a renewed and heightened awareness of the need for additional senior community resources such as: education, jobs and volunteerism opportunities, housing for seniors and travel and recreation options.


What three major changes would you propose to policies, events or infrastructure?


Because growing jobs means a growing community both relationally and financially, I would propose more flexibility with the current policies for small business startup in Rockingham and those local businesses that are struggling to survive in this economy. As far as events are concerned, we have Plaza Jam concert series in the summer, Trunk or Treat at Browder Park and Christmas on the Square, all of which my family and I enjoy attending. However, I am always open to more city-based events that are accessible to each and every citizen to strengthen the relationship between local government and the people they serve. As you know, we have done major renovations and additions to the sewer system in East Rockingham and adjoining areas. We have just completed the Ellerbe-to-Rockingham sewer system. Although not a change, I would recommend this as a corridor for prospective residential and business sites.


Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership.


I have served my community in leadership as chairman of deacons at Beverly Hills Baptist Church, on the board of United Way, chairman of the Board of Community Based Alternatives, Board of Sandhills Mental Health and have worked on subcommittees within the city council. I utilize the skills and knowledge I have garnered from those positions in my ability to serve alongside members of the council to benefit growth in our city.


How do you plan to make sure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely?


I have been self-employed in Rockingham for over 40 years. I have also lived in the city limits for more than 20 years. In that time I have had to establish budgets and manage income to make a profit in business and provide for my family. Taxes affect me as well. We have not had a tax increase in the city in the years I have served. My plan is to keep it that way. I have been an elected councilman for more than 10 years in Rockingham and I feel as though I have my hand on the pulse of the citizens of this city and I am looking forward to serving them again.


M. Steven Morris for mayor


What do you bring to the table that you believe the council has been lacking?


Having been part of the council for the past 13 years. I do not think anything has been lacking. I feel we have provided good leadership and the city has functioned at a very high level. All of the council members are compatible and seem to be on the same page, trying to lead Rockingham forward. We have good, loyal employees that excel in providing the level of customer service that our citizens expect and deserve and do it in a reasonably cost effective manner.

What three major changes would you propose to policies, events or infrastructure?


A. I would like to see the proposed recreation complex begin to be developed. As usual, money (or the lack of) is driving this issue. This will be a very expensive project and we will need some very creative financing to make it happen. It would be too large a burden on the taxpayers if we can only finance it in conventional ways.

B. We need to improve our tourism efforts. We have tremendous natural resources that need to be organized, packaged, and promoted to residents of the Piedmont Crescent in both Carolinas.

C. We need to solidify our position with NASCAR. Try to find a way to bring the Nationwide Series and even Cup events back to Rockingham Speedway.

Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership.


I was on the Capital Campaign Committee that helped raise the money to make Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham a reality.

How do you plan to make sure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely?


We have a very efficient, professional staff that performs at an extremely high level. We will never implement a new program without carefully looking at all sides of the issue to insure that it can be carried out in a cost effective manner. Hopefully we can form some type of partnerships with performance based incentives and investments to further grow our tax base.

David Browder for mayor


What do you bring to the table that you feel the council is lacking?

First and for most I feel the council is totally out of touch with the economic reality of the average citizen. Rockingham median income is well below the state median income and in every action from the construction of an ivory tower town hall to the priorities which have placed adult recreation in front of ours kids recreation and our seniors. The effort to control every detail of an individual’s property so the wealthiest in the town will not be offended by having to witness the poorest among us. I would get the town out of peoples yards and out of the way of entrepreneurial initiatives and allow for the citizens with initiatives to build ships rather than waiting for a ship to come in that is not coming.


What three major changes would you propose to policies, events or infrastructure?

In terms of infrastructure I would move away from the focus on what other people from other towns think and focus on what our citizens think. Making youth recreation and a place for our seniors and veterans a priority is high on my list. I would immediately request that Baker House be zoned unconditionally for reconstruction. I would severely curtail what is laughingly called the nuisance code. I would plan for the reality of the here and now. If a person no longer has to make a decision between food and medicine because they have a yard sale every week then leave them alone. This is a small town and decisions can still be made from the heart not through avarice and contempt.


Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership?

I have managed large departments in the industrial world where I managed technical staff supervisory staff and technical support personnel. Eight years ago I founded David S. Browder Service and Support Group Inc. which provides technical hydraulic mechanical process and software support to the plastics injection molding industry worldwide. I have served as president of this company and have successfully run it as president even through the most economically challenging period in recent history.


How do you plan to spend the taxpayer’s money wisely?

When you speak of tax money you only ever hear the property tax rate. The tax bill is equal to the total city budget which has exploded to obscene levels in the last 10 years considering the lack of wealth of the town and the low levels of inflation. Entire departments have been created and the town has indulged itself in exorbitant projects all with the promise of economic growth population growth and wealth growth. All the metrics quoted have actually gotten worse not better. I would request a budget that reflects 30 percent reduction in city budget and city taxes and be more attractive to investors.


 
 
 
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