Name as it appears on the ballot: Gale Adcock
Full legal name, if different: Gale Brown Adcock
Date of birth: 1/25/54
Home address: 300 Legault Drive, Cary, NC 27513
Campaign Web site: www.galeadcock.com
Occupation & employer: Family Nurse Practitioner and Director, Corporate Health Services, SAS Institute Inc.
What do you believe are the most important issues facing Cary? If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?
Among the many important issues that require a Council member's focus, my top three will continue to be fiscal responsibility, public safety and economic vitality and growth.
Fiscal responsibility. I will continue to support Town budgets with conservative revenue estimates, staffing to meet citizen expectations for levels of service, and capital projects that are strategic and/or necessary to protect our infrastructure investments. I voted to lower Cary's property tax rate from 42 to 33 cents. We have the lowest tax rate in Wake County while maintaining a AAA bond rating. I see to it that my family lives within our means and I feel the same way about the Town's finances.
Public safety. I will continue to support appropriate staffing for fire and police, deployment/location of these critical functions where most needed in Cary, and new methods of policing to address the root causes of crime, including gang activity. I have consistently supported and voted to fund Cary Police Department initiatives including Geo-Policing, Project Phoenix, and the Gang Suppression Program. Cary is one of the safest cities of its size in the US and I want to keep it that way.
Economic vitality & growth. International business and technology leaders such as Deutsche Bank, Siemens and ABB choose to locate and expand their business operations in Cary because we plan for growth and we do it intelligently. Their employees want to live in Cary for the same reasons. I will continue to work to make Cary's business environment healthier and more attractive for current and prospective businesses. A good example is my vote to waive impact fees for core downtown development for a limited time period. I will continue to advocate for streamlined, coordinated Town processes required to start or expand a business; look for innovative opportunities to kick-start redevelopment; and pay close attention to infrastructure and amenity upkeep that enhance our quality of life. I will always stand firmly behind development standards that protect our neighborhoods and sustain our reputation as one of the most desirable places in the country to live.
Explain how—or if—Cary should continue to grow in Chatham County. How do the needs of Cary residents in Chatham County differ from those in Wake? How do you plan to address them?
Chatham county residents desiring annexation into Cary should have their annexation petitions considered like any other citizen-initiated annexation. Due to their closer proximity to Jordan Lake, residents in Chatham County have understandable heightened concerns about development density and its impact on water quality. The Cary-Chatham County joint land use plan, near completion, is intended to address these and other issues in a thoughtful, long range way.
Tell voters about your vision for a revitalized downtown Cary. What should it include—and what should it avoid? What other cities are good models for your vision? And finally, how should Cary pay for it?
Cary's redeveloped and re-energized downtown does not need to be nor should it be patterned after any other downtown—it should be uniquely Cary. It should have a mix of new and current businesses, opportunities for entertainment and participation in the arts, park land, open space for informal events, a new Wake County library, parking availability, a sidewalk system, informative and decorative way-finding, and an appropriate sense of history. The crown jewel of this downtown vision is the newly opened Cary Arts Center. As the most ambitious redevelopment project in Cary to date it will take vision, boldness and a willingness to explore funding possibilities.
In your analysis of Cary's operating and capital budgets, what expenditures should take priority? What expenditures should be reduced? Should any items be eliminated entirely? Justify your priorities.
Each annual budget is a reflection of our priorities and a balance between what we must do, what we want to do and what we can afford to do to maintain and enhance our citizens' quality of life. The Town's revenue picture and general economic conditions impact how much of what we hope to accomplish can reasonably be done in any budget year. Public safety and infrastructure are two priorities that must always remain uppermost in our minds.
The median home price in Cary is $257,000, according to CNN Money. (By comparison, Durham's is $158,000 and Raleigh's is $170,000) How should Cary ensure there is adequate affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents?
Cary takes great care in regularly reviewing and approving our affordable housing plan. We thoughtfully apportion Community Development Block Grant funds to local organizations that use them to add to Cary's affordable housing numbers as well as to improve the structural safety and appearance of affordable housing. The Town sets aside funds each year for façade improvement for affordable housing stock.
Would you support placing a half-cent transit tax on the 2012 ballot? Why or why not?
This decision will be made by the Wake County Board of Commissioners. It's always preferable for taxpayers to decide whether and how to fund large infrastructure projects.
What sort of relationship do you think the Town of Cary should have with the Wake County school system? Do you believe that, in the future, western Wake County municipalities should form their own school system, either by a formal breakaway or through the creation of a sub-district?
The best relationship with the county school board would be based on 1) a shared vision of quality education for students, 2) schools that contribute to Cary's reputation as an excellent place to live and raise a family, and 3) a willingness to work together at the intersection of our separate and different authorities. One example is the reciprocal impact of residential development and school construction. I do not think it is wise or financially feasible for Wake county municipalities to form and then fund their own school systems.
Earlier this year, after public protest the federal government withdrew its plan to site an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office, which would have included temporary detention facilities, in Cary. In retrospect, how could that issue have been handled differently, internally among planning staff and elected officials, with the federal government and with the public?
By its own admission, the prime reason for withdrawing the relocation plan was General Services Administration's failure to follow its internal policies about appropriate citing. While ICE activities and mission are generally supported by Cary citizens, such facilities should not be located in close proximity to homes, schools, childcare facilities and retail establishments. I'm proud that Cary's elected officials and Town staff took immediate and appropriate action in response to citizen concerns and worked closely with state and federal officials, as well as homeowners and business owners, to change the course of events. After an extensive internal review, appropriate steps have been taken at the Town of Cary to improve staff communication and processes.
What is there in your public record or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be an effective leader? Please be specific about your public and community service background.
I have served as the Cary Town Council District D representative since 2007. I am regarded as a Council member who does her homework, asks thoughtful questions and makes decisions based on data—not special interests, ideologies or partisanship. I respect my Council colleagues and expect the same. I work for consensus and refuse to marginalize or triangulate. I also have a track record as a business manager and executive. I am the Director of Corporate Health Services at SAS Institute. Among my many job responsibilities are oversight of a $4.2 M budget, direction of a 55-member staff, management of day-to-day operations of a large corporate family practice, and establishment of sound operational and clinical policies. I am the corporate spokesperson on all matters related to health and wellness. I am a Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner with service as past President of the North Carolina Nurses' Association among other state and national professional leadership positions.
How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am a centrist who believes that collaboration with others with opposing views can lead to unconsidered and often better solutions. I'm not afraid to disagree with others and to have them disagree with me in an effort to solve tough problems. I consider our Council a team. Each member deserves mutual respect and an opportunity to have their views heard. It is my belief that good ideas are not the property of one political viewpoint.
Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
It's likely this has already happened. Every vote has the potential to be unpopular with one or more voters.
The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?
I believe that elected officials who embrace servant leadership and demonstrate integrity, who do not capitulate to special interests, who reach out to citizens for their opinions and participation, and who do their work with complete transparency are necessary for a just community. This is how I have conducted myself as a member of the Cary Town Council and how I will continue to behave if re-elected.
To learn about other candidates' stances on the issues, read their 2011 Candidate Questionnaires.