07/19/04 — Wilson challenges Guy for Duplin board

View Archive

Wilson challenges Guy for Duplin board

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 19, 2004 1:58 PM

Snodie Wilson of Kenansville is challenging L.S. Guy of Faison for the Democratic nomination to represent District 1 seat on the Duplin Board of County Commissioners.

The challenger

Wilson says if he's elected he will strive to bring more industry to Duplin, improve education, use tax money more efficiently, protect the environment and provide fair representation to all citizens of the county.

"Property owners cannot continue to take the burden to pay all the bills," said Wilson. "There has to be a limit."

Wilson said he favors raising the money Duplin county needs through a sales tax.

"Everybody would pay, not just one segment of society, and everybody benefits," he said. "I paid seven percent this morning on coffee. I don't see why people get so hung up on food tax, especially processed foods."

He said he would pursue privatization of emergency medical services further than commissioners did when they passed the budget for this year. He said he would want to be sure those hired by the county would be taken care of by any contractor who came in to provide the service for the county.

"The volunteers have done a marvelous job in Duplin County," said Wilson. "Maybe the collection rate could be better. A lot of times people don't even thank you when you're volunteering your time."

Of public schools, he said the philosophy of group that wants consolidation of James Kenan and North Duplin High Schools and those who want community schools probably both have a lot of merit. Another group wants to change school district lines.

But Wilson said he believes improved student test scores will result from having good certified teachers and lowering the student-teacher ratio.

He said he's keeping an open mind about education. "I don't know what the best answer is, and you can't please everybody ... But I do know Warsaw has a problem, and it needs addressing."

The incumbent

L.S. Guy is the chairman of the Duplin County commissioners. During his tenure, he says, the board has done everything in its authority to help the Board of Education meet the needs of its diverse student population. This includes financially supporting the operations and the capital improvement needs of the Duplin County Schools, he said.

"A great challenge that faces Duplin county commissioners now and in the future is finding available financial resources to address the county's needs without crippling the economy and the taxpayers," he said. "The commissioners must be aware of the spending patterns of Duplin County government and keep those expenditures to a minimum while addressing the priority needs of a proud agriculture-based people. I will continue to make tough decisions during tough times, and I will not forget the people who pay for it all."

Guy says he would continue to help upgrading the county's communications system and expand the county's water system. He would continue to phase in and upgrade a paid emergency service program and find all possible sources of funds to defray the costs of the service.

He said he would continue efforts to upgrade the collection and disposal of Duplin County's solid waste.

He would expand efforts to establish a marketing program for the new Agribusiness Arena so that, upon completion, the long-term use and scheduled events would be in place. He said he would help establish an arena authority to help determine the best use of the arena. "A similar facility was begun in Martin County several years ago," he said, "and it is adding significantly to that county's economy."

Guy said he would focus more on providing improved courtroom space to comply with a judicial mandate.