Name as it appears on the ballot: Linda K. Huff
Date of birth: 2/28/1945
Home address: 1905 Old Red Mtn. Rd., Rougemont, NC 27572
Occupation & employer: Artist, self-employed
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.
For 40 years I have been an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. I was art director at Biblical Archaeologist for 8 years, at American Scientist for 10 years; I was a courtroom artist for 5 years for Channel 11; I've exhibited paintings both nationally and locally. Politically, I am most proud of my efforts as one of the founders of the organization Friends of Hill Forest, which was created to preserve NC State's Hill Forest for recreational use by the public. I called the county commissioners' attention to the dangers of not repairing a local bridge in the forest, helped mobilize local residents to advocate for its reconstruction, and constantly nudged the DOT to alert us to the availability of funds for its repair, which is slated to occur next year. I served three years on the City County Planning Commission, supporting almost all of the development brought before it, though I, along with all of my fellow commissioners, did vote against the 751 South development. While on the planning commission, I introduced a resolution that one county commissioner be required to live outside the city limits of Durham. This resolution passed. I was not reappointed to the commission for a second three-year term. In 2005 I organized both Precincts 26 and 28 for the Democratic Party. I have been chair of Precinct 26 since that time.
How do you define yourself politically? How have you demonstrated this political philosophy in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I consider myself a New Deal Democrat. I have no political agenda other than to see that people in the rural part of the county have a greater voice in county government and are able to access their tax money for local projects.
Why should the Rougemont community become an incorporated town?
As it stands, Rougemont receives very little return for its county tax money. The incorporation will give Rougemont residents access to those dollars and the power to use them as they see fit. By incorporating, we will have in place an organized body to represent our interests wherever that representation is necessary.
List the three most important issues facing Rougemont, in order of priority. If elected, how will you address these issues? Please be specific.
1.Local use of local tax revenues.
2. Preserving the rural character of this rural area.
3. Creating an entity that will represent more prominently and defend a rural perspective in county politics and policy.
All of these issues will be at least partially addressed by the fact of Rougemont's incorporation.
Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I am already taking a principled stand, unpopular in the present anti-government, anti-tax climate, by promoting the idea that government has a role in protecting the interests of citizens, who otherwise have only their single voices to advocate for their interests. Further I am promoting the idea that increased taxes, small though these may be, can contribute positively to the general welfare.
If elected, would you support using Rougemont tax dollars to pay for broader law enforcement coverage by the Durham County Sheriff's Office?
We will use tax money to support a level of law enforcement similar to what we have now. The incorporation statute requires that we provide certain services and that is one of them.
Aside from property taxes, what other sources of revenue would you initiate for Rougemont through town council?
We are eligible to receive our portion of county tax revenues on alcohol, gasoline, and so forth. Otherwise no one is planning to raise any revenues beyond what is required for incorporation.
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?
My sense of what Rougemont wants from incorporation is control of how it grows, not to obtain a mechanism to encourage growth. Where growth occurs will be determined by county zoning and our ability to rezone, if necessary. Right now we can create more dense residential development along the 501 corridor and portions of Red Mountain Rd. We have commercial neighborhood zoning along Red Mountain Rd. into an area just beyond Red Mountain Estates as well as at the intersections of Bacon Rd., Bill Poole Rd., Red Mountain Rd., and 501. This zoning designation would allow small entrepreneurial development. However, development of this area will depend on getting water from Person County, which will happen or not regardless of incorporation.
If elected to council, what measures will you take on council to help Rougemont grow with residents and business?
I'm not focused on growth, but on quality of life issues for all Rougemont residents. The grand view of the direction of our community will come from the community, not from me.
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?
The statute allowing our incorporation deprives us of direct involvement in planning and zoning decisions. That is, unlike most incorporated towns, we cannot create our own planning department. I believe we must have representation on such county advisory commissions as are relevant to planning and zoning. One aspect of life in Rougemont that people want to protect is its rural character. Insofar as that desire dovetails with the plans of Durham County, people will be agreeable. We should have direct influence over zoning ordinances that affect agricultural areas.
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 believe I've been registered in Durham County since 1971. I'm a Democrat, but I have been a Republican and a member of the Peace and Freedom Party. As I said to the People's Alliance you can make of my choices what you will.