Over the next four weeks the Fuquay-Varina Independent will introduce you to those who are campaigning for seats on the Town Board and those running for Mayor of Fuquay-Varina. Their stories will run begining with two this week about the incumbent candidates. All candidates received the same questions and were given the same amount of time in which to respond. All of their stories are available on our web site www.fuquay-varinaindependent.com.
There are two incumbent commissioners, Bill Harris and Charlie Adcock, along with five others running for three open seats on Fuquay-Varina’s Town Board.
Harris, who has served about 22 years on the board, lost his seat four years ago, but was subsequently appointed by the board to fill a vacancy created by the death of Jeff Wells in 2009. The seat Harris currently holds is open to be filled through election this fall.
Incumbent Commissioner Charlie Adcock is also seeking reelection. He was elected to the board four years ago and is seeking a second term. A third seat is open as a result of the death of Jimmy Johnson earlier this year.
Newcomers seeking seats on the board include: Paxton Edward Galvanek, Sean Robert Hearn, Edward Alan Ridpath, Thomas Allen Williford and Jason Ora Wunsch.
John Byrne, who has served as mayor of Fuquay-Varina for 10 years, is also seeking reelection. A mayor’s term runs for only two years while commissioners are elected to four-year terms. Byrne is being challenged by Michael Dorman, executive director of the nonprofit Military Missions in Action, an organization that assists disabled veterans.
The election is Nov. 8.
Fuquay-Varina Town Councilman Charlie Adcock has served on the town board since 2007. However, he feels his work for the community is not complete and is seeking reelection to the Fuquay-Varina Town Council during the November 8 election.
Adcock, a native of Fuquay-Varina, graduated from Fuquay-Varina High School in 1990. Adcock has served on the Board of Directors for the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Committee and Fuquay-Varina Friends of the Museums, Inc. He has also served on the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and as a member of the Fuquay-Varina Rotary Club.
Adcock has a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Development and Environmental Planning. Adcock also works in Fuquay-Varina as a Branch Manager and Commercial Lender for Fidelity Bank.
Adcock said he loves the community that he calls home.
“I love the hometown values and friendliness of our citizens. Fuquay-Varina is a great place to raise a family.”
Adcock has served in Fuquay-Varina government for ten years. Adcock first served on the Fuquay-Varina Planning and Zoning Board for six years. While serving on the Planning and Zoning Board, he held the position of chairman. He then decided to run for a seat on the town council in 2007.
As he completes his first term in office, Adcock said his work is not done and he hopes voters will elect him to another term.
“As a member of the Town Board, I have pushed for quality economic development. I view strong fiscal management, wise investments in our infrastructure, relevant development standards, investments in our parks, and the revitalization of our historic downtowns as all contributing factors to the overall prosperity and economic development of our town. My focus on these important issues will be unwavering.”
One thing Adcock would like to see come to Fuquay-Varina is a business park.
“As I have stated throughout my campaign, Fuquay-Varina needs to establish a Class A Business Park. I will continue to push for this as Chairman of Fuquay-Varina’s Economic Development Committee. Our Economic Development Commission is providing low cost loans to small business and in addition to this; I support a partnership between the banks, the Town, and the F-V Econ Dev Commission to provide help to small business.”
Adcock said the town needs to attract industry and plan for ways to handle growth.
“The town should be working to attract industry and to plan for adequate infrastructure to meet the demands that growth brings. If done well, Fuquay-Varina will continue to grow and new retail business will follow. I have spearheaded the total rework of our development ordinances to make them user friendly and to address the requirements put on large commercial developers. I am proud that I was able to get this major project included in our town’s budget this year. When “big box” retailers come to Fuquay-Varina, we need to ensure that we are all proud of the final product that is built. “
When asked if he felt the town’s building and inspection requirements were strict, Adcock said he will continue to work to make the building inspections and requirements more clear.
“I think that the most important thing we can do is make it clear what the requirements are. This is why I pushed so hard for a total rework of our development ordinances. As we embark on this massive project, I will be working to ensure that our development ordinances are clear and concise. I also advocated updating the town’s Web site to make accessing information easier. In addition, many of the requirements that the town enforces are handed down from the state or county level. Fire and building codes are examples of requirements developed at the state level that we often have no room to change.”
When asked if he felt that Fuquay-Varina had adequate park space, Adcock said since he was elected he has worked hard to increase the amount of park space. However, he realizes his work with parks is not done.
“Since being elected in 2007, we have bought Fleming Loop Park, Mineral Spring Park, developed West Jones St Park, and have joined with Wake County to add Herbert Akins Park and Banks Rd Park. We have changed our ordinance to allow developers to donate land to the town for parks. Currently, instead of purchasing more land for parks, I believe that the most pressing need is to continue to add amenities such as ball fields, lighting, bathrooms, and play equipment to our current parks.”
The Fuquay-Varina Independent asked Adcock if he felt the Fuquay-Varina tax rate was high. He said that it would not be wise to reduce the tax rate at this time.
“The tax rate is something that we discuss annually while preparing the town’s budget. In my years on the town board, we have not increased property taxes and I am opposed to any tax increase. Due to the economy, we have delayed many capital projects and have not added positions to our police force. I take great pride in the fact that this strong fiscal management has enabled us to increase our bond rating from A to AA. However, during the next fiscal year we will need to start implementing some of the delayed capital projects and/or hiring at the police department. With these imminent expenditures it would be unwise to reduce our tax rate further at this time.”
Finally, the Fuquay-Varina Independent asked Adcock what he felt would make people want to live in Fuquay-Varina. Adcock said the community has a lot to offer those who live here.
“Fuquay-Varina has more untapped potential than any other town in Wake County. We have more developable land, better access to water, we are located in the best county in NC, are halfway between the economic engines of Raleigh/RTP and Fayetteville, a unique history with two historic downtowns, a business friendly town board, and most of all our people. I love the hometown values and friendliness of our citizens.”
William H. Harris, a candidate for the Fuquay-Varina Town Council, roots run deep in the Fuquay-Varina community. Harris, 60, said he has lived in the community the majority of his life and attended elementary and high school in the area.
It is that knowledge of the community that Harris feels that makes him an excellent candidate for the Fuquay-Varina Town Council. Harris hopes voters will head to the polls November 8 and elect him to serve in one of the three seats available on the Fuquay-Varina Town Council.
Harris is no stranger to public service. Harris, a program manager for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, has served as the president of the Lincoln Heights PTA, been a member of the W.M.-Golden Star Masonic Lodge # 150, served as a board member of the Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association, worked as a Sunday School Teacher and served as a trustee and deacon at First Baptist Church. However, his public service does not stop there. He has also served as a board member of the Fuquay-Varina Development Corporation and served as chairmen of the Fuquay-Varina Citizens Against Drugs Steering Committee.
Harris, who has served and is currently serving on the Fuquay-Varina Town Council, has served two terms as the Mayor Pro Tem and served as chairman of the Public Safety Committee and Chairman of the Law and Finance Committee.
Harris said there was one main reason he hopes to be reelected to the Fuquay-Varina Town Council.
“I’m invested in Fuquay-Varina. I believe because of my experience and knowledge of the community I will bring a unique perspective to town government.”
When reporters with the Fuquay-Varina Independent asked Harris what the community should do to bring new industry or new businesses to the community, he said the town council should do several things.
“I think we should continue to promote economic development as a top priority,” Harris said. “I think we should work to attract ‘clean’ industries that have a positive environmental impact. I think we need to encourage business development and growth by making ourselves attractive to start-up businesses and established businesses. I think we can encourage entrepreneurs by promoting “business incubators” through the efforts of the Economic Development Commission. I think we as a Town Board should work to leverage funds for incentives for business by pursuing federal grants. These grants can play a vital role since access to funds is critical for businesses.”
He said one thing he would like to see come to the community is a cultural arts center.
When questioned about whether or not he felt Fuquay-Varina had adequate parks, Harris said the current town board has a five year plan in place that addresses the future need for parks.
The staff of the Fuquay-Varina Independent also asked Harris if he felt that the town’s building and inspections requirements are too stringent. Harris said he did not feel like they were.
“I think our inspections and building department have a very tough job,” Harris said.”I think our requirements are aligned with Federal, State and local laws. Sometimes enforcing these laws and ordinances places the town in a very unpopular position.”
Harris said he was also happy with Fuquay-Varina’s current tax rate, when questioned by the newspaper staff.
“I think our tax rate is adequate for the size of our town. We have a very reasonable tax rate.”
Harris said he hope voters reelect him to the town board and said he does not believe his work is done on the council.
“I think we need to continue to promote a community where people feel safe and comfortable. The Festivals and Annual Celebrations add to the quality of life here in Fuquay-Varina. These events are excellent examples of the beauty of small town living,” Harris said. “We need to continue supporting the current economic developments efforts. We are working through partnership with the Fuquay Varina Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to retain and expand existing businesses, and provide development programs for new businesses. As we continue to retain and boost our existing businesses we may stimulate the demand for other products and services that will attract new businesses.”