Name as it appears on the ballot: Jason Howe
Date of birth: 09/29/1979
Home address: 304 Red Mountain Rd., Rougemont, NC
Occupation & employer: Law Student at North Carolina Central University
Describe your past leadership roles, both in career and community. How will these experiences help you serve on council? Please be specific about how these roles correspond to a council member's responsibilities.
I have been a public servant for the past 10 years. I have worked as a criminal investigator, forensic scientist, and community college instructor. In these roles I have learned how critical decision making can be. I believe that the Town of Rougemont is embarking on a very important endeavor and I believe that it will be vital to have an individual on the town council who can make vital decisions that will ultimately impact the town as a whole. I intend on bringing my decade of experience in public safety work and teaching to the table in an effort to improve the quality of life of the residents of Rougemont.
How do you define yourself politically? How have you demonstrated this political philosophy in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
My political philosophy for this campaign is to help lead Rougemont in maintaining its rural character while simultaneously bringing it out of the void of neglect it has seen in recent times. Rougemont is a wonderful place but I intend on making the town a better place by improving the issues that should have already been rectified.
Why should the Rougemont community become an incorporated town?
Rougemont needs to incorporate so that the town can oversee its resources on a local level. The town can best improve its situation by having control over the monetary resources that current get distributed elsewhere throughout the county and away from Rougemont, such as the now infamous 751 South Project.
List the three most important issues facing Rougemont, in order of priority. If elected, how will you address these issues? Please be specific.
The three most important issues facing Rougemont are: (1) the unhealthy water that has plagued areas of Rougemont for over a decade. It's time that we are able to afford our citizens access to clean water. (2) Improving public safety. (3) Improving the look of the town of Rougemont which also includes lighting throughout the town.
Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
There are none. As a town councilman, I intend to listen to the citizens of the town and vote for the best decision that can improve the greatest number of people.
If elected, would you support using Rougemont tax dollars to pay for broader law enforcement coverage by the Durham County Sheriff's Office?
This answer is more complex because contractual obligations are two-sided. I am willing to negotiate a fair contract with the Durham County Sheriff's Office for broader law enforcement coverage. I think it is vital for our citizens to feel safe within their town. It is important to know that response from law enforcement is a short call away. I would be goal to see that at least one law enforcement office is near the town at any given time.
Aside from property taxes, what other sources of revenue would you initiate for Rougemont through town council?
As a municipality, I would seek to use money returned from the state including highway money to improve areas of the town that are neglected. I strongly believe that those monies coupled with property taxes will be sufficient for the town's goals in the immediate and mid-range future.
What type of new economic development would you support in Rougemont, and where? If elected, what will you do to bring this development to town?
If elected I would support commercial development on a small scale in order to provide local conveniences to the citizens.
If elected to council, what measures will you take on council to help Rougemont grow with residents and business?
If elected I will help improve the quality of life and growth with better public safety, improved lighting, and clean water. As mentioned, I would like to see some small scale commercial growth as a convenience to our citizens.
Long-range guidelines from the Durham City-County Planning Department indicate that Rougemont should remain largely rural. Do you agree with this long-range plan, and how do you plan to maintain this vision or change it on council?
Rougemont is proud of its rural character. Unfortunately, this has led to some neglect from our county officials. As I have mentioned before, it is unfathomable to think that our water problems haven't been corrected already in the past 10 years. I believe that if we continue to give up local oversight of our monetary resources that the county will continue to spend tax dollars from Rougemont residents building lake houses on Jordan Lake and leaving Rougemont to deal with poisoned wells. By taking control of our own assets we can see to it that improvements are made.
How long have you been registered to vote in Durham County? How are you registered? Have you ever changed your party affiliation, and why?
I've been registered to vote in Durham County since returning to the county two years ago.