Ed Yerha | Candidate Questionnaires - Wake County | Indy Week
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Ed Yerha 

Cary Town Council (At-Large)

Ed Yerha
Website: www.EdForCary.org
Occupation: Retired Senior Tax Analyst
Phone Number: 919-303-5705
Email Address: eyerha@nc.rr.com
Years Lived in Cary: 22


1) Please identify the three most pressing issues the town faces and how you will address them.

Cary is headed in the right direction, as evidenced by our many national awards. I will continue to make Cary even better. Among my top priorities are:
• Keep all of Cary’s citizens at the top of the organizational chart: this has always been my guiding principle as a public servant and I will continue to listen to and represent all of Cary’s citizens.
• Ensure that Cary remains one of the safest communities in the United States.
• Make effective use of Cary's dwindling supply of undeveloped land, via both open space preservation and high-quality development, while focusing on redevelopment efforts where appropriate in already established parts of town.


2) Earlier this year, the town council unanimously passed the Cary Community Plan, which is designed (among other things) to create denser housing and bring more people downtown. Already there’s been at least one case, on Urban Drive, where residents protested new townhomes. If elected, how would you go about addressing conflicts related to urbanization and growth in what has historically been a suburban community?

I proudly support the Cary Community Plan, which was years in the making and involved unprecedented levels of community engagement. There are many facets to the Cary Community Plan. More urban environments in selected areas of town is just one of them. Protection for existing neighborhoods is another.

When almost any new development is proposed, neighbors typically have concerns. I believe in encouraging the developer and the neighbors to meet and engage in conversations to identify and address concerns. Cary has a long record of achieving give-and-take among all involved parties to ensure that development and redevelopment helps us grow better, not just bigger.


3) As the town grows, affordable housing will become more and more of an issue. How do you believe the town should address affordability?

I want people who work in Cary to be able to live in Cary if they choose to do so. Affordable housing means different things to different people. I believe the role of town government is to encourage a variety of housing options in our community so that affordable options exist for a wide range of residents, and our Cary Community Plan does that. Cary has a comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan as well as the Neighborhood Improvement Grant and Housing Rehabilitation programs. We work with public and private agencies, such as HUD and Habitat for Humanity, to encourage the development of affordable housing in our community.

Cary's affordable housing plan will soon be due for revision and I am committed to making it more robust.


4) What in your public or professional career shows your ability to be an effective member of the town council? If you’ve identified specific issues above, what in your record has prepared you to deal with them?

I was appointed to the At-Large seat I currently hold in 2012 to fill a vacancy on the Town Council. In 2013 I was unopposed for election to that seat and in 2015 my Town Council colleagues chose me as their Mayor Pro Tem. I believe all of these acknowledge my effectiveness as a Town Council members.

I always remember that citizens are at the top of the town’s organizational chart. I listen carefully and make thoughtful decisions, always seeking consensus and “win-win” outcomes.


5) Please give an example of an action by the town council in the past year that should have been handled differently. Also, what was the town’s biggest accomplishment during that period?

Although I have not been on the prevailing side of every action of the Council, I believe that all of our decisions have been handled fairly and thoughtfully. The past year's biggest accomplishments include adopting the Cary Community Plan, hiring the nation’s best Town Manager and appointing the best Town Clerk in the country.


6) How do you identify yourself to others in terms of your political philosophy? For example, do you tell people you’re a conservative, a moderate, a progressive, a libertarian?

I don’t care much for labels, as I think they oversimplify a person’s philosophy and outlook, so I don’t typically describe myself with such labels. I am Unaffiliated (not a member of any political party) and I tend to support progressive policies. I have supporters from all parties and across the political spectrum, and I like to find ways in which we all can work together for the benefit of our community.


7) If there are other issues you want to discuss, please do so here.

Thank you for helping to inform voters about the candidates in Cary. I would be pleased and proud to receive the Indyweek endorsement.

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