03/16/08 — Pate seeks reasonable limits on water, stronger stance against rising crime

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Pate seeks reasonable limits on water, stronger stance against rising crime

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 16, 2008 2:01 AM

As the Mount Olive Republican prepares for a battle for state Senate District 5, Louis Pate called out the state's Democrat governor on water issues Saturday morning.

The Wayne County Republican Party held its GOP monvention at the Wayne Center on Saturday.

As keynote speaker of the convention, Pate began his comments with a disapproving nod to Gov. Mike Easley's stance on water conservation.

"The first question I want to ask you is how many of you took a bath or a shower in the last 24 hours," Pate said.

The Mount Olive Republican said he believes representatives of the state's Democratic Party would impose unreasonable limits on use.

"If we hand the control of our water system over to Gov. Easley and his people, there might just be a schedule for when we can take our showers or baths," Pate said.

Pate said his dislike of water restrictions was not because he was unconcerned with careful control of the state's natural resources.

"We have a very devastating drought in the past year," Pate said. "I commend Commissioner Efton Sager for the water summit" at Global TransPark in Kinston.

Pate voiced his own opinions about how water may be handled in the future.

"I think that water supply is going to be controlled within watershed districts," Pate said. "I think it should be regional, rather than statewide."

Pate also said he believed that possible restrictions for owners of private wells were unreasonable.

"That's not the right thing to do ... to let the state come up with another bureaucracy that's going to be telling everyone when they can take their showers," Pate said.

Pate also touched on the recent murder of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson.

Police in Chapel Hill reported that the murder seems to be a random crime perpetrated by two 17-year-olds with significant criminal histories and one teen's alleged connection to the death of another student.

"That brings a lot of questions to mind. First, where were the parents of those two teen-agers?" Pate asked. "If you look at these two people, these suspects, what they've done in the past is enough to lock anyone up.

"They're still contributing to law enforcement problems in this state. We've got to get these people off the streets so they will not be a menace to our society."

Pate said recent violent incidents at schools of all types make him think stronger security is necessary at all school buildings.

That means confining entry to one point and having a person identify every visitor's purpose, Pate said.

"Traffic would be (confined) to one door ... and would be met by someone who determines why that person approached that school in the first place," the Mount Olive Republican said.

The keynote speaker also bemoaned the rising cost of health care and health insurance, and said he wants to limit malpractice suits.

"It costs an awful lot of money to get sick these days," Pate said. "Woe to those who don't have health insurance.

"Not only do we have to pay for ourselves, but we also have to pay for those who cannot or will not pay. The price is devastating," Pate said.

Pate also said he supports a real rail-based container transit system from Goldsboro to the Wilmington-area coastline.

"We've got to have adequate rail service," Pate said. That would bring rail traffic through Wayne county on up to the north. If we had a dynamic seaport industry, and dynamic rail industry, that moves goods between the ports and the market,

While calling himself "a free-market type of guy," Pate also said he supported talking with rail operators to get the Goldsboro market more involved in rail transit.

"We need to work more closely with that industry," Pate said. "Our ports should very aggressively got out and get the business.

"It's very important to us, because when we do that, it will bring revenue into the state ... allowing us to cut back on income tax," Pate said.

County commissioner candidates Joe Daughtery, Frank Pearsall, Steve Keen, Ray Starling, Hal Keck, Jeff Jennings and James Beckwith addressed the convention.

Also speaking were state House candidates Efton Sager and Stephen LaRoque, along with state Senate candidate David Rouzer. Lieutenant governor candidate Greg Dority spoke last.

Also in attendance were 3rd Congressional District candidate Joe McLaughlin and Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders.