Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Venita Peyton
Date of Birth: 07/14/1956
Campaign Web Site: www.venitapeyton.com
Occupation & Employer: Greater Raleigh Real Estate, Inc.-Principal Broker
Years lived in Wake County: 24
1) What do you see as the most important issues facing Wake County? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?
Equity in public education, reducing/eliminating criminal activity (including gang and domestic violence) crime, and re-invigorating our housing and job market.
2) Are there specific needs in your district that you would add to that list? How do you propose to address them?
District 5 strongly needs community support to assist law enforcement in ending crime.
And we need to find a fairer way of providing public education to children who are bused to schools several miles from their homes. This proves to be inconvenient in the long run for the child and family's after school participation, including PTA and teacher meetings.
3) What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the issues you've identified? Please be as specific as possible in relating past accomplishments to current goals.
My experience has been fashioned by years of public service. These includes years as Chair or Co-Chair of the East Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council, and mentoring through Partners of Wake County and community service in Franklin County. I understand the messiness of both Wall Street and Main Street because I am a business person and a consumer.
I once was a registered securities representative with Prudential Ordinary Life Insurance. I've been licensed in life, health and Medicare insurance for more than 20 years.
I've been a self employed real estate broker for 8 years. Through my local church activities, professional and community organizations and other ventures I've experienced the difference between effective leadership and leadership that stifles and fears new ideas.
4) How do you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I suppose I'm a moderate Republican. My achievements have been made possible because of my absolute faith in God and hard work. That's why I believe that with teamwork, Wake County can eradicate its gang problems and decrease the number of children dropping out of school.
5) The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. Please point to a specific position in your platform that would, if achieved, help further that goal.
I would seek justice for the children of murdered victims and persons scarred by criminal activity. This would be accomplished by utilizing staff who already provide community support with existing community groups and individuals to identify perps. Secondly I would advocate the creation of a college fund for the children.
6) Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I believe we should test the issue of busing see if the 'proper' balance can be achieved by allowing parents to choose participation rather than mandatory. The current system is unjust.
Sadly, our civil rights persons are focused on trying to be accepted into certain systems for themselves and their friends. They choose not to use our collective resources to solicit input from parents whose children are affected by busing, low test scores or school violence.
7) If these issues haven't been addressed above, would you please comment specifically on:
a. Growth: Is Wake County growing too fast for its available water, school and other public resources? If so, what should be done?
Not that I'm aware of. Especially during the past year.
b. Transfer tax: One proposal to help "growth pay for growth"—authorized by the General Assembly if local voters approve—is a 0.4-cent tax on commercial and residential property sales as well as land sales. Do you support the transfer tax? Will you support asking voters to approve it?
c. A 0.25-cent sales tax increase is another alternative to higher property taxes that the General Assembly authorized—again, if voters approve. Meanwhile, transit supporters seek a 0.5-cent sales tax increase for rail and bus services. What role should higher sales taxes play, if any, in financing Wake's future growth needs?
No. Triangle Transit has received millions in the past and had little to show for it, other than room-fulls of studies. Obviously everyone has benefited in large part but the public.
d. Do you support greater control over school construction and siting decisions by the county commissioners? If so, in what form?
I have not formed an opinion.
e. Is the level of school funding in Wake about right? Too little? Too much? Please be specific about any changes you'd support.
I don't know. I believe that because the majority of the Wake County School Board are not business-minded, that they are more likely to accept the Superintendent's budget as opposed to wondering how cost effective it is.
If 4% can be found to increase the Superintendent's salary yet a threat made to withhold necessary school supplies then apparently they are satisfied with their operation.
I don't know of any changes that can be made, as the School Board is a separately elected body.
f. What about the overall county tax rate: Too high? Too low? What's your position on property taxes?
Wake County still has a fairly low tax rate, when compared to our adjoining counties. Because it is our major source of income I don't choose to take a position until I see the corresponding budget with it.
g. Is Wake doing enough to protect its water supplies in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake from pollution and sediment runoff?
My experience is too limited to make a reliable judgment.
h. The Wake Commissioners have contracted to open a small mental-health facility to fill the need caused by the impending closing of Dorothea Dix Hospital? Is that a sufficient response? Are additional efforts needed? If so, what do you propose?
Dorothea Dix has become a hot political no-win issue. If not already the Commissioners should explore a public-private partnership with Holly Hill hospital, because of it's location and service record.
8) What is your position regarding LGBT rights? Please address whether, as an employer, Wake County should adopt a policy protecting its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or identity?
I would expect the County Manager to determine if their rights are covered under existing EEO laws. Every employee should be careful about bringing their personal lifestyle matters into the workplace, including heterosexuals.
9) Given that North Carolina has the ninth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, do you support medically accurate sex education that includes information about birth control?
Yes. The question is not the education: it's who delivers it.
It is easy to violate the trust of a young person, which is evidenced by the increase of teacher-student sexual interactions all over the country.
The economics of raising children and family finances should be taught in our public schools.