Don Frantz | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Don Frantz

Candidate for Cary Council District B


Name as it appears on the ballot: Don Frantz
Full legal name, if different: Donald Phillip Frantz II
Date of birth: May 18, 1971
Home address: 706 East Cornwall Road, Cary NC. 27511
Mailing address, if different from home:
Campaign Web site:
Occupation & employer: Small Business Owner, Frantz Automotive Center
Home phone: 919-469-5110
Work phone: 919-469-5423
Cell phone: 919-612-6870
E-mail: or

1) What do you believe are the most important issues facing Cary? If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?

The most important issues facing Cary are growth management, school capacity and construction, road construction – especially the overdue construction of I540, growth, public safety, and deteriorating rental properties negatively affecting the quality of life for folks in older areas of town.

These issues are all priorities for me, and I promise to work hard to address each and every one of them.

2) What is your philosophy regarding the pace of growth in Cary? Has it been too fast, about the right pace, or has growth been encumbered?

Growth is good, but we need quality growth – not growth at all costs. Cary needs to do better at balancing the rights of folks to develop their property while protecting the rights of those who will be impacted by that development.

I have concerns regarding the recent trends of high density development and activity centers. Too many folks on too little land results in nothing but increased traffic, school overcrowding, and other strains on our infrastructure. Cary must get back to basics and refocus on what made Cary the great place to live that it is; quality single family home development on appropriately sized lots.

I also have concerns with the amount of property that has been rezoned from office to residential. We must do better at maintaining the balance between commercial and residential development in Cary.

3) Please reflect on the recent developments approved by council at the intersection of Davis Drive and High House Road and explain whether you believe those development plans, and the process by which they were negotiated and approved, represent healthy growth for Cary.

As a member of the Town of Cary’s Planning and Zoning Board I voted for the Searstone Development, and against the Crosland proposal. Searstone will be a quality retirement community that I believe will not only be a benefit to Cary and Wake County, but also serve as an example for assisted living communities across the country. I also believe that the folks of Searstone genuinely wish to be good neighbors, as evidenced by their removal of 200 residential units at the request of the neighboring community. It was however frustrating to see this project come back before the board numerous times over the years.

Crosland on the other hand was a different story. If ever there was a case of development attempting to maximize the use of their land, this is it. The amount of residential and commercial uses proposed here was entirely too intense for the location in which it was proposed. I also found the last minute modifications to the project which conveniently, but possibly not legally negated a valid protest petition to be a very shady tactic on the developers part. In my opinion, these 11th hour changes should have resulted in another public hearing, and another review by the Planning and Zoning Board before going to council for a final vote.

4) How can the Town of Cary best ensure that infrastructure needs keep pace with growth? Please cite specific examples of policies or actions that the Town Council might undertake, or has undertaken, that you believe are effective or ineffective.

The Town of Cary must be better stewards of our citizen’s tax dollars. Cary has built some very wonderful things over the years. But the problem is we cannot afford to build them all at one time. Funding need to haves before we fund the nice to haves would be a good start. How the town can consider a multi-million dollar aquatics center project when we need better roads, more schools, and water capacity is beyond me.

5) Would you support Wake County’s Commissioners if they chose to put a land transfer-tax referendum on the ballot? Why or why not?

No I would not. I believe the American dream of home ownership to be taxed enough already. Taxing someone just for the right to sell their property I find very unfair. What if I wanted to buy my neighbors house next door? Why should my neighbor be penalized for selling to someone who already lives in Cary and has been paying Cary taxes and receiving Cary services for years? I would not be placing any additional burden on our infrastructure – I already live here. Why do I have to pay for growth but my friend who isn’t selling their house doesn’t?

I also believe this will drive housing costs up resulting in even less affordable housing available in our area.

6) What sort of relationship do you think the Town of Cary should have with the Wake County school system? Do you believe that, in the future, western Wake County municipalities should form their own school system, either by a formal breakaway or through the creation of a sub-district? In general, what can town leadership do to improve or strengthen the education system for Cary’s public school students?

Yes, I believe it is time for Cary to break away from the Wake County Public School System and form either a Cary school system, or partner with our neighbors in Apex, Morrisville and Holly Springs in forming a Western Wake County Public School System.

A sub-district however, in my opinion is not the answer. There is enough dysfunction and disconnect between the wake county commissioners and WCPSS already. I fail to see the benefits to Cary of adding a third government entity to that equation. The whole point of forming our own school system is to reduce bureaucracy and instill accountability – not create more bureaucracy.

WCPSS has simply grown too large to manage effectively and efficiently any longer.

7) Do you believe the Town of Cary has done a good job in recent years of involving citizens in the public process with regards to growth, education and other issues of interest? What, if anything, would you change about the way public input is incorporated into the town government’s decision making?

I believe the Town of Cary does a very good job of soliciting citizen input. Unfortunately they just don’t always listen to it. I also believe that citizens deserve to be heard towards the end of the development approval process – just like the applicants are. I find it very unfair that a developer is allowed to change their project at the last minute, yet the citizens impacted by that development are not allowed to comment on those changes.

8) Are you concerned about the long-term water quality of Jordan Lake, Cary’s primary source of drinking water? If so, what measures would you take to preserve or improve it?

Yes I am concerned with water quality at Jordan Lake. We all should be. Best management practices regarding stormwater retention and nitrogen runoff will be mandatory under my leadership on council. We must ensure that as this area develops – and it will develop - it retains its rural character and develops at a very low density to better protect this precious resource.

9) What is there in your public record or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be an effective leader? Please be specific about your public and community service background.

Community leaders are not born as such, they are made by the forces of involvement and passion which gives one experience and creates wisdom. I have earned the respect and trust of my fellow business owners and residents through years of success, community service, and involvement and I intend to keep it that way.

I currently serve as the President of the Heart of Cary Association. The Heart of Cary Association is a group of downtown Cary business owners, property owners, and residents whose mission is to preserve, protect and enhance the fundamental character and charm of the heart of Cary while assuring it remains a vibrant, prospering community of residents and businesses. We work closely with the Town of Cary and Chamber of Commerce in finding solutions that foster a more business friendly environment downtown. I have also served as the organization’s Legislative Committee Chair. Please see for more information

I have served on the Town of Cary’s Planning and Zoning Board since 2006. The Planning and Zoning Board is an advisory body to the Cary Town Council and deals with land use, zoning and development related issues.

I also served on the now defunct, Town of Cary’s Citizen Budget Review Commission from 2004-2005.

My family and business regularly donates countless hours and other resources to numerous local area schools and booster organizations.

I also served on the Town of Cary’s artist selection panel as a representative of the Heart of Cary Association this past year.

I was a candidate for the Cary Town Council District B in 2003.

I am also a member of the following:

  • Cary Chamber of Commerce
  • Cary IMP Club
  • Friends of the Page Walker
  • National Federation of Independent Business owners
  • Cary Elementary PTA

10) How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I am a fiscal conservative and social moderate. Call me middle of the road if you will. I believe that before any issues are decided all interested parties must be brought to the table so that all concerns are vetted and addressed.

11) Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

I would oppose the transfer tax. I understand not all might approve of that stand, but I also understand that with every decision I make, I won’t ever make everyone happy. At the end of the day I must do what I believe is in the best interest of Cary and all our residents and business owners.

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

Cary needs leadership based on sound principles and common sense. We need leadership that can put personal differences aside, and work towards solutions that move our community forward. I believe I can provide that leadership.

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