Commission candidates: J.D. Evans, Democrat, District 2
By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 21, 2012 1:50 AM
The News-Argus posed three questions to candidates for the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. Following are the responses of Democrat J.D. Evans of Dudley who is seeking re-election to the District 2 board seat.
1. The budget is perhaps the biggest duty a commissioner has. What is your assessment of the current budget and tax rate? What are your budget goals and ideas?
"In my opinion it is an excellent budget. I think (County Manager) Lee Smith and his staff have put together a well-defined budget taking into consideration the amount of money that we have available. We are not overspending and are being conservative to the point that we did not call for a tax hike in the hard times that the country is in at this point.
"Some people may use this time as a means of making progress, but even so if you do it will come back to haunt you. So we have tried to be conservative, and do our best to be prepared to move as soon as the economy turns around. Just because money might be made available, it doesn't mean that you have to spend it right then.
"I am an advocate of moving slowly and cautiously without forcing an extra burden on the taxpayer particularly in times like we are experiencing now."
2. The county has been able to pay cash for recent facilities projects. What are the remaining facilities needs, including schools, and how would you pay for them?
"By being conservative in the past we have been able to pay cash for most of the smaller county needs. We have been conservative in our spending, and use of tax dollars, and in using additional money that has come our way. This has enabled us to stay ahead of the game. This, to me, has been a well-defined method of staying out in front. We have been highly conservative in not expanding so fast that we would have to pay during extreme times.
"I congratulate our county manager and his staff for their due diligence in respecting the kind of funds that we have, and staying in front thereby by not putting us in a pressure situation to have to pay to survive.
"It appears that if schools come to the point that we have to have more schools we may call for a bond issue in two or three years from now. You have to fund schools. That is the bedrock of any society."
3. What would be your goals and objectives as commissioner?
"As they have been in the past to work consistently with the county manager and his staff, and give them the leadership role in determining what needs to be done.
"I think with the new initiative in building, growing the county, we are going to have to find some finances or do something to increase our fund balance in the amount of money we could be able to spend while maintaining a budget that would not overspend what we have in reserve thereby increasing our ability to progress but without causing us to suffer by overspending the amount of money we have available. That has been one of our strong points.
"Certainly we need to complete the process for the new Mount Olive library because it has been planned for two or three years. Money has been mad available.
"We also need to finish the schools projects."