I feel that a candidate for any office should be able to boil their campaign down to five basic ideas that they want to advocate. So, in keeping with that, here are my basic five:
1. Personal property rights – I view county proposals such as the Randolph County Landfill to be massive intrusions on private property rights, be it through devaluing the properties surrounding the landfill or through government use of land in the county for the sole purpose of generating profit for the government. I also feel that in this day and age when we hear stories of agencies such as the EPA confiscating property left and right, it is important to have local officials who are brutally dedicated to the idea that property belongs to the property owner rather than simply being “leased” from the government.
2. Tax and budget reform – Whenever money is taken from private citizens by the government, it is imperative that the people who set the tax policies that take those monies are as low and non-intrusive as possible. Whenever taxes are raised, they should only be for a necessary increase in government expenditure. Citizens deserve someone who will act to ensure that those two requirements have been met with every tax dollar they send away, and I would like to fill that role.
3. Personal defense – While the second amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, the idea of banning licensed concealed weapons in a variety of places (from private businesses to public parks) has been popping up before town councils and county commissions all across the state in the past few years. Should the idea find its way to Randolph County, I’d like to know that someone hearing and voting on the issue felt the same way I do about it: I want as many well-armed, law abiding citizens around me at all times in all places.
4. Government transparency – With the advent of the internet and social media, it is easier than ever for a public entity to make its records known to the public for relatively little to no cost. Therefore, I would make it a point to ensure that all meetings of the County Board of Commissioners are available online in video and written formats, and that county documents (such as the county budget) are available in as detailed a form as possible online as well. There is no excuse for public information to be hard to find in the Information age.
5. Business friendly environment – Randolph County has long languished as one of the most poverty stricken counties in the state, and the time is now to start looking for ways to rectify that situation. I believe that through reforms of our property tax code and through easing a number of county ordinances we can create an environment that is attractive to businesses looking to move or expand and one that encourages entrepreneurs to start their businesses within the county. Also, advocating an end to the state income tax (both personal and corporate) to state level leaders will greatly benefit the business climate in the whole state. Finally, I think it’s asinine that we as a county will spend millions of dollars on recreation facilities, but will allow manufactures to be lured into other counties a relatively small incentives package. I’m not a big fan of incentives packages, but by comparison to a few other budget items, they don’t look so bad.
And that’s it. If it is not an issue here, then while I will be perfectly happy to share my opinion on it with you, it will not be a focus of mine in office until I feel that things have been fundamentally taken care of.