Cadle W. Cooper | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Cadle W. Cooper

Chatham County Commissioner - District 3


Cadle W. Cooper

DOB 10/03/1943

Address: 1918 Russell Chapel Rd.

Pittsboro, NC 27312

lived in Chatham County 66 years (all my life)

Occupation: Barber

Home Phone: 919 542-3811

Work Phone: N/A


1. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Chatham County? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

Chatham County needs more jobs, quality education, keep land rights and keep tax rates affordable.

I will listen to the people of Chatham County for their suggestions along with my own ideas. I will work to stop our taxes from going up, reduce spending on unnecessary things and stop the county from trying to take over individuals property rights.

2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the Chatham County Commission? This might include career or community services; be specific about its relevance to this office.

My record of serving on the Chatham County School Board for twenty years. Making the budget every year for the school system to operate. Experience with hiring good quality teachers and support personal. Education budget was 45% of the county budget. I also think by working with the public as a barber that I will be able to get a lot of ideas and being there to listen to concerns from the people. We have not had this.

3.How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievement and present campaign platform?

I am a conservative, we need to protect the individual rights of property owners. The county needs to be business friendly and try to get industries into our county. Have the county commissioners meetings "open".

4. The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?

By being a barber people know that I am one of them , I listen to what they are saying to me. People know that I am concerned for Chatham County.

5.What specific steps should the county commissioners take to preserve and protect Chatham's environment and natural resources. What do you feel needs updating in Chatham County's land conservation and development plan? State specific initiatives or policies you would introduce and support to accomplish these updates.

Try to protect the water in the Jordon Lake and land around it. Clean water will always be needed in the future. We need to get a landfill in the county.

6. Define economic development. What does that term mean to you? Do you believe Chatham County heavily relies on property taxes? How would you grow the economy and agricultural possibilities to lessen that reliance without focusing entirely on residential development? What specifically can you do as a county leader to strengthen and support Chatham's economy? How would you work to bring new businesses and jobs to Chatham County?

To put in place a sound plan for getting business and industry into the county. The tax burden on the houses and personal property will be high if something isn't done.

The commissioners need to be business friendly environment to get industry to come to the county. Siler City has everything needed for industry. Major corridors, railroad , water and they have a Industrial Park.

To bring jobs, we need to appoint people to these committees that will work to bring industry in. We need a variety of local and newcomers to be on some of these committees. It's important to have people on the committees that can bring new ideas to the commissioners. I believe the commissioners need to work closely with all town boards in the county. I think we could work with our neighbor counties and get ideas from them. With all of these things, I think we could accomplish a lot.

7. In light of the recent Transportation Advisory Board formation and the efforts of Chatham County to create transportation options for its constituents, what are your ideas in increasing mobility while reducing energy and improving air-quality? Does Chatham County need more public transit options and not just buses but walk ability and bike ability?

The bus that comes down from Chapel Hill transit system needs to serve all the residents of Chatham County ,not just the ones that work in Chapel Hill. When the grant money runs out for the bus, it'll have to be re-evaluated. We'll have to look at the number of riders, that information has not been given out.

Bike paths are needed to be safe and have more walk able paths throughout the county.

If the NCDOT approves a freeway in the US 64 corridor what will your goals be taking action against or for changes that will affect constituents and business owners along the corridor?

If the DOT decides to go ahead with the widening of 64 highway through Chatham County to make it a freeway. Then the Chatham County Commissioners will have to work with DOT to make the best possible solutions along the freeway for business owners at all the intersections. The county will also have to work with DOT to install service roads for all the business. This will bring more traffic into Chatham County, more opportunity for business such as restaurants. We might be able to get a Industrial Park in Chatham.

8. What are your thoughts on broadband access for Chatham County? What are the benefits or lack of? And how would you work to see that access brought to Chatham County?

The people of Chatham County need access to broadband for several reasons. Schools can use broadband in the classrooms for a teaching tool. Industry needs this for improving their business. Restaurants with this would be a plus for their customers while having lunch. Some federal grants are available for different cities and counties that need more assistance. Some telephone companies will work with the counties to help accomplish this goal.

9. Chatham County has specific infrastructures that must be improved in the next few years. How will you plan for the future as a commissioner (through grants and federal funding) to see that the County Seat of Pittsboro builds needed infrastructures like a new jail and courthouse?

The Pitt Stop building was purchased by the commissioners and they are renting it out while the county is renting buildings for these County Depts.( Board of Elections, County Attorney and Recreation Dept) I think if we worked on our own budget and work to get grants and federal funding, these things could be built. We could have the voters to vote on bonds for needed buildings.

10. What will your goals be as commissioner in redrawing BOC and BOE districts to equal population representatives when the 2010 census data is released. Given that population growth has occurred in Districts 1 and District 2, what are your concerns in redrawing equal districts that will reflect continued growth?

When given the census data of the population growth per district. The board then can equal each commissioner district. Try to use natural boundaries such as rivers and roads. The Chatham County Board of Education will have to redistrict their own districts. They would have to get our representatives to change their board in the State Legislature. When I was a School Board member, we had to do this that way.

11. There has been talk of going to a seven commissioner board with two commissioners being at large. Would you support that decision? If not, why? Do you think that North East Chatham County needs more representation?

I would support a seven member Board of Commissioners. The County could have five districts with two being at large. I think that the County needs equal representation for everyone to be heard the same. That is part of the problem people feel like their commissioners don't listen to them. They think they listen only to certain groups of people. The citizens in the Western part of the county feel like they can't get their candidates elected.

12. Please state your general philosophy on what role citizens should play in government decision-making. In general, do you think Chatham residents have enough opportunities to make their voices heard? If so, state some examples. If not, what are your ideas for improving and incorporating citizen input in county government decisions?

The commissioners need to listen to all of the concerns of the citizens, not just a group that they like. When they appoint citizens to different County Boards across the County. They need to be diversified not just the ones' from one group of people. Listen to all the citizens in the County.

A time set aside in the meetings for citizens input. Have different speakers, keep their time so more citizens have a chance to talk and be heard.

13. Identify a principled stand you would be willing to take even though it cost you popularity points with constituents.

Build a landfill in the county, no one wants this near their property. But Chatham County needs to make this decision and not keep talking about it. This would create jobs and save the County money from not having to pay the cost of transporting it out of the county and fees paid to the waste management.

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