Name as it appears on the ballot: Jeff Foxx
Full legal name, if different: Jeffrey L. Foxx
Date of birth: July 20, 1975
Home address: 108 Canyon Run, Cary, NC 27513
Campaign Web site: www.jefffoxx.com
Occupation & employer: Web Designer, SAS
What do you believe are the most important issues facing Cary? If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?
Cary faces a real challenge in balancing growth and promoting progressive development while preserving quality of life and green spaces. My priority is to support and promote smart, balanced growth that serves the needs of all our citizens. We need to make sure Cary stays true to its roots -- that we focus on preserving the open spaces we have and improving existing structures. We don't have to raise taxes, or let growth skyrocket. We don't need big city apartment buildings on every corner. We can focus on maintaining the high standards we have traditionally enjoyed while increasing efficiencies to cut costs to taxpayers.
Additionally, I want to ensure that the voices of all Cary residents, especially our families, are heard. In our district, the focus has too often shifted to big developers and downtown businesses. I want to be the voice of our families, our neighborhoods and our citizens, advocating for the services they need and the government they deserve.
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?
The General Assembly made some dramatic changes to our state's annexation laws this year. There has been a lot of discussion around those changes and what they mean for our cities. Above all, Cary wants to be a good neighbor. It should never be the goal of Cary to grow beyond our borders, but we need to work together with Chatham County to create a mutual balance. I believe Mayor Weinbrecht has done a good job of smoothing over past differences to work together toward common goals.
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?
As we work to breathe new life into Cary's downtown we need to be careful to avoid over-development and to maintain the distinctive charm that is Cary. We must take a balanced approach to development that acknowledges the important role business plays in our Town's economy while focusing on the needs of our citizens.
Renewed development is going to be more traffic and more stress to the infrastructure downtown. The Council has lifted developer impact fees downtown for three years, which means that every Cary citizen is paying to support that increased traffic whether they enjoy the benefits or not. Meanwhile, in other parts of District B, there are much needed infrastructure improvements that are not being made. We have to balance the efforts being made downtown with the ongoing needs of all of Cary citizens.
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.
Efforts to revitalize historic sites within Cary are important. But in tough economic times, I would prefer to focus on things like stressed sanitary sewage lines and flooding due to stormwater runoff. When money is tight, the safety of Cary citizens has to take priority.
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?
When my wife and I first moved to Cary just after college, we settled in an apartment for a year but for cost reasons chose to look outside of Cary for our "starter home." I truly believe that the people who work in Cary should also have the opportunity to live here. Therefore, we have to balance new developments and maintain an appropriate level of affordable, accessible housing. At the same time, we must recognize that Cary is a highly desirable place to live, and that with that often comes elevated home prices. Also, if we make a priority to preserve open spaces, inevitably, that is going to reduce the amount of residential developed land and will drive the prices of homes up. There are some sacrifices to Cary citizens' current quality of life that I would not be willing to make.
Would you support placing a half-cent transit tax on the 2012 ballot? Why or why not?
I'm always in favor of putting as much decision-making power in the hands of the people as possible. But, we need to make sure voters are informed on the true impact of a half-cent tax, as well as the added value.
Residents of Cary would benefit by investments in improved local bus service and planning for transit, reducing traffic congestion, improving transportation options, and creating investment opportunities in transit supportive development.
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?
As a father, strengthening our public schools is one of my top personal concerns. As a citizen, I believe that quality public schools make for a stronger Cary. I've heard from people who have moved into District B specifically for our schools. I believe Cary can invest in our schools to make our area a more desirable place to live. If elected, I would work with the school board to advocate for the needs of the people in District B.
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?
Clearly, this situation called for open and honest discussion, rather than whispers and rumors. Town staff has acknowledged that mistakes were made in not alerting elected officials and administrators as soon as they were aware of the proposal. Strengthened processes and improved accountability are important to preventing another similar situation. Additionally, citizens need to be kept informed of the facts and included in the discussion in cases like this. We have to respect the residents that have chosen to make Cary their home. We have bought our homes in areas that we find ideal for raising our families. If that landscape is to change, I think the town needs to have more openness and engage more with residents to come to mutually beneficial outcomes.
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.
The last office I ran for was student body president of Winstead Elementary (I won on a platform of expanding the school store to include more erasers). I'm not a politician. I don't have a long record of service. But sometimes citizens have to stand up to ensure their voices are heard among the insiders. I have 14 years of business experience, working with and on behalf of clients. Collaborating in committees and task forces to achieve business goals. That's the experience I want to put to work for Cary.
How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I'm not a politician who is looking to build up a resume to run for higher offices. I'm just a regular Cary citizen who loves Cary and wants to see it prosper. I don't have a political agenda, I'm not an activist, and I don't cater to party leaders or special interests. I am running for this office because I care about our Town, our families and our future. I want to represent my neighbors – their concerns and their hopes – and I want to help the Town of Cary chart a course for a bright future. I want to see the best for all of District B, not just my neighborhood, not just downtown, but all of it.
Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I believe elected officials are the voice of the people. In some ways, by representing the voice of the people, you give up your luxury of taking personal principled stands. I will always advocate on behalf of the people, and never just because I would stand to benefit or because a vote is of personal importance to me. I think it is extremely important for council representatives to stay engaged with their constituents and vote on their behalf. Nothing you do should lose popularity points with the voters, because you are their voice.
The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?
Fairness, honesty and transparency are key components of a just community, and a focus of my campaign. By upholding high ethical standards and encouraging open discussion while keeping the focus on our citizens, my leadership would create opportunity for all. I realize that the decisions we make today impact our communities for generations to come. I vow to always put the interests of the residents of District B above special interests.
To learn about other candidates' stances on the issues, read their 2011 Candidate Questionnaires.