I respectfully disagree with your endorsement in the District 2 county commissioner race in Orange County ("The Indy endorses in runoffs," June 4). The most pressing issues confronting Orange County concern its fiscal health and the need to diversify the tax base. The commissioners will soon adopt a new comprehensive plan. The next slate of commissioners will establish the guidelines for how Orange County develops over the next 20 years.
Steve Yuhasz's 25 years experience as a land surveyor in Orange County make him uniquely qualified to advise the commissioners on using the plan and its enabling ordinances as tools to guide desired residential and commercial development in a sustainable fashion. As it now stands, the cumulative costs of restricting growth in a core county of one of the nation's most dynamic regions have fallen heavily on the county's low- and moderate-income households. Large segments of the county's workforce cannot find affordable housing in the county and are forced to make long commutes to work. And many long-time residents are being forced out of the county due to property tax increases year after year.
Yuhasz believes that the county has a responsibility to accept its proportionate share of regional growth. The Research Triangle region is expected to double in size over the next 20 years. If the Orange County Commissioners are committed to managing that growth responsibly—rather than perpetuating barriers to growth—then we could see an increase in both affordable housing opportunities as well as a more balanced tax base. These outcomes will make Orange County a more equitable and diverse community than we can expect under our current trajectory. I believe these positive outcomes are more likely with an independent thinker like Yuhasz on the county commission, and that's why I'm supporting him.