Name as it appears on the ballot: Terry Thorne
Full legal name, if different: Terry Lee Thorne (however I am known and go by the nickname "Doc")
Date of birth: 17 August 1948
Home address: 130 Shirley Drive, Cary 27511-3850
Mailing address, if different from home:
Campaign Web site: www.vote4thorne.com
Occupation & employer: designer/writer, semi-retired
Home phone: 919 467-1454
Work phone: same
1. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Cary? If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?
I believe the three most important issues facing Cary and, specifically, District-A are (in no particular order) 1) the provision of infrastructure maintenance/replacement and public safety services in older neighborhoods, 2) traffic and movement of same, and 3) personal accountability at Town Hall and the Council level. I have NO top priority in addressing those three issues as all three are concerns of the voters/constituents and must be visited simultaneously.
2) 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.
I am a former USMC NCO; NC State alumnus; 25-year advertising and marketing professional; youth sports coach in Cary, Morrisville and Raleigh; church Elder and multiple committee chair; Cub and Boy Scout leader; held numerous positions on private and public boards, including Cary citizen boards for CATV, Mayor's Drug Council, Page-Walker, as well as MDA executive board, Wake Drug Action board, RTP International Visitor's Center, Wake SPCA board, and Citizen's Action Committee board; politically as an assistant to the County Chair, state delegate, candidate for Cary Dist-B Council, and Democratic candidate for Mayor Wilmington NC, and Democratic candidate (withdrawn) for New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
3) How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am currently a "blue dog Democrat" in that I am more fiscally conservative than I was earlier in my life. This manifests itself in my position of creating a moratorium on tax increases while seeking revenue enhancement from newly recruited business and relocated residential growth.
4) Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
If/when I am elected I am not naive enough to believe I will please every voter with every decision I make—supporting light rail being one which comes readily to mind—but as an elected representative I feel and believe it is my duty to vote with the majority of the constituency who elected me.
5) While its growth has slowed, Cary remains one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Assess whether its rate of growth is good for the town. Should it be faster, slower or remain the same? How should Cary grow and what measures should be implemented to achieve this?
I am PRO-growth, but NOT at the expense of those businesses and residents who are already here. Growth is essential for Cary's existence; but while monies are allotted and/or set aside to fund infrastructure and services expansion, equal allotment and the redirection of substantial funding must be made to maintain and replace (when necessary) infrastructure and services in older areas of town, specifically within and adjacent to the Maynard Road loop area.
6) Cary's tax rate is one of the lowest in the Triangle, and its budget is 25 percent lower than last fiscal year. What do you think of this reduction? How should the town balance its tax rate with essential public services? What services and projects do you consider essential and need additional funds? What services and projects could be reduced or delayed? Evaluate, in general, the current town budget.
I, as well as any number of the voting population I wish to represent, am in favor of the budget reduction given current economic conditions. As for balancing the tax rate with essential services, I would be in favor of reducing NON-essential positions and redirecting funding toward increasing public safety needs such as the recruitment of more qualified personnel. I would also wish to see a greater redirection of funding toward replacing infrastructure and public safety services within older areas of town, without whose long-existing revenue contribution westward expansion would/could not have been possible. As stated in so many words above, growth is essential, but not at the expense of existing older town areas.
7) In the biennial Citizen Satisfaction Survey, focus groups indicated they were concerned about the impact of the "transient population" of Cary. There were also suggestions that those short-term residents be "screened" in terms of a visioning process for the city. How should Cary deal with its short-term residents? What value do you place on their opinions of the town? What impacts have you seen of short-term residents? What can the town do to more fully engage these residents?
"Transient population" is bureaucratic speak for passing the blame. 44-years ago I was a member of that "transient population" as, I'm sure, many newly relocated families are classified today... The simple point is if your family lives in Cary and you pay taxes which help the town provide essential and quality of life services then your opinion, regardless of how long you've been a resident, should count. Short-term resident's opinions, energies and involvement are necessary to our town's forward movement and growth, and as such should be given equal weight with those of longer established citizens.
8) What should Cary do about Western Wake Partners' plans to build a sewage plant in New Hill? What are your concerns, if any, about the plan? If you have no concerns, tell us why. Where should a new sewage plant be placed?
I think Cary should stand behind existing plans.
9) Evaluate Cary's sign ordinance. How would you change it? What should the ordinance accomplish?
Cary's sign ordinance is a perennial issue which, on the whole, I would not be in favor of changing—however, I would insist there be allowances made for long-standing signs, structures and markers deemed "historic" in nature.
10) While the expansion of U.S. 64 is largely a decision of the N.C. Department of Transportation, as a town council member, what input would you give the state on this proposed project?
I would support it.
11) On the topic of transportation, this year, a half-cent sales tax for mass transit is proposed in the legislature, requiring voters' approval. Would you support such a tax? Why or why not?
Personally, I believe such a tax would be a good long-range start to funding mass transit, which will eventually become a regular part of Triangle life. However, as an elected representative of District-A, I would discuss this issue with my constituents and cast any vote I may be given supporting their desire and decision.
12) Are you concerned about the long-term water quantity and quality of Jordan Lake, Cary's primary source of drinking water? If so, what measures would you take to preserve or improve it? What is your assessment of Cary's water conservation ordinance?
Of course, everyone should be concerned with water quality issues, and I believe Cary in conjunction with our neighboring communities has acted responsibly in establishing and meeting long-range goals. However criteria change constantly requiring ongoing needs monitoring and periodic revisitation of current actions.
Completed 18 August 2009, by:
Terry L. 'Doc' Thorne
Candidate for Council Dist-A
130 Shirley Drive 27511-3850
919 467-1454 email@example.com