In 1997 the citizens of District One voted to send me to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education to end forced bussing and the educationally destructive use of race in school assignment. My time on the board led to a victory for neighborhood schools and the defeat of bussing in Federal Court. In 2000 I was honored to be sent to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to work for a more efficient and responsive county government for six years. While on the board, I worked on successfully implementing the Balanced Score Card, a comprehensive method of driving and measuring strategy and efficiency. The result of this change was meant going forward the continuance or expansion as well as the funding of all services became dependant on meeting pre-determined goals and measurable outcomes.
As Chairman of the county’s Economic Development Committee I changed the process of determining the true economic cost of business recruitment and therefore forced a much more accurate examination of tax incentives and their possible payoff. I became the first Chairman of the Centralina Economic Development Commission, a federally funded program that managed a nine county strategic plan for growing jobs and the economy. It builds on regional strengths, emphasizes key regional industry clusters and prioritizes economic development.
I served six years on the Board of Lake Norman Charter School growing from a collection of middle school mobile units to a brick and mortar campus expanded to include a high school. Having had the opportunity to serve on both a traditional Board of Education and a charter school board I have the unique experience of truly knowing what works and what does not from two very distinct perspectives. I am the father of two daughters, one a brand new middle school science teacher, the other just starting her college career. Between my time on two Education Boards and a teacher and a student as daughters I think we have the education insight covered.
I am a husband of 30 years. My wife Jo Ellen was one of the first Certified Nurse Leaders in the United States. She also holds a MBA, a Masters of Nursing and several minors in the healthcare sector. With my wife’s extensive education and experience I bring a solid partner and advisor to healthcare issues and reality.
As the owner of Long Creek Industrial Services Inc., which operates as Electro Painters and Ceiling Pro of the Carolinas I must demonstrate competence and the ability to perform daily. We paint manufacturing equipment, architectural structures, industrial locations as well as clean restaurant, healthcare, and commercial ceilings. I have extensive experience working with manufacturing engineers, plant managers, architects, office designers, governmental purchasing departments, original equipment manufactures etc. to expand and improve operational and workplace environments. As a business owner, I have first hand knowledge of the impact of over-regulation and business related tax burdens. I also know the pressure of market driven forces and the stress of providing for my employee’s wellbeing. My job requires success with contract law, accounting, marketing, negotiation, environmental compliance, labor relations, government directives, cost variances, etc.
I am the descendant of Scottish immigrants who settled in Mecklenburg County in 1755. I take great pride as a descendant of two signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. The love of freedom, personal responsibility and a healthy distrust of government reside in my DNA. My family has been here for 262 years and I stand ready and able to help chart our path for the next 250.
With my daughters off on their own and my business safely through the worse economy in a generation, I am ready to get back to work being a voice of reason and sanity on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. I look forward to once again using the skills gained from a decade in county and regional governance along with the experience and knowledge honed from owning and operating regional businesses to help guide Mecklenburg County towards better educational opportunities, responsive and efficient public services, business regulations that encourage rather than hinder economic growth and competitive tax rates.
I hope you will join me by volunteering, making a donation or most importantly taking a few minutes to cast your vote.