By David King-What is a Republican? Who is Conservative “enough”? Are we without principles if we work with elected members on a Board to find/provide solutions to issues in county government? Maybe these are the wrong questions. Maybe we should be asking “What is a fiscally responsible government?” and “How do we find solutions to the issues facing our county?”
It is my honor and privilege to be a Buncombe County Commissioner. County Commissioners are not responsible for decisions made, good or bad, at the federal level or the state level. However, we do have to live with the ramifications of the decisions made at those levels….often at great cost to county government. When I sought to become a Commissioner from the 3rd District of Buncombe County, I ran on a platform calling for fiscal responsibility and providing good government which best served all citizens. It was my conviction this could only be done by working effectively with the entire Board of Commissioners elected to serve with me and by listening to the constituents of my District as well as the other citizens of the county.
Three questions drive my decisions when voting on spending issues before the county.
Is it necessary?
Can we afford it?/How are we going to find the money?
Will the benefit outweigh the initial cost/pain to the taxpayer?
My focus as a Commissioner has been to guide positive progress and growth to Buncombe County and to accomplish positive goals, determined and voiced by the needs of the citizens. Over the last year, Buncombe County has accomplished many positive achievements. Among those are some of which I am particularly proud:
Over 500 manufacturing jobs were saved and added with the expansion of GE Aviation, Jacob Holm, and Plasticard-Locktech and other industries
The beginning of a major construction project at AB TECH to satisfy the growing demand for nursing and medical employees in the community…and coming in $10 million dollars under the projected budget
The opening of the first STEM School in Western North Carolina in the fall of 2014.
The projected opening of a new ENKA Intermediate School in the Fall of 2016
In 2013, recovering almost all of the jobs lost in the Great Recession.
Maintaining Buncombe County’s AAA Bond Rating—the highest attainable for fiscal responsibility—concrete evidence of our fiscal responsibility and an honor held by only a small number of county and municipal governments nationwide.
In a free country we work with all sorts of people. Some are ideologically opposed to us. Whether it’s a community board, church committee, or on the job not everyone is coming from our perspective—but we still manage to get the job done. Government is no different. Buncombe County government is a representative democracy. It is composed of two parties. On some issues we disagree. Where we can agree, we all work together to make Buncombe County the best place to live…the place I believe it to be….and the place its citizens want it to be. The County Commission has a job to do. The people expect and deserve it to happen. It can, and is, being done in a fiscally responsible way as evidenced by our balanced budgets and AAA Bond rating.
Political ideology gives us principles to live by. Taken to extremes it can distract us from the work that needs to get done. My top principals are listening to and serving the citizens of Buncombe County. This is what I thought, and still think, Republicans do.