Gale Adcock | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week
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Gale Adcock 

Candidate for Cary Council District D

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Gale Adcock
Full legal name, if different: Gale Brown Adcock
Date of birth: 1/25/54
Home address: 300 Legault Drive, Cary, NC 27513
Mailing address, if different from home: N/A
Campaign Web site:
Occupation & employer: Nurse Practitioner; SAS Institute
Home phone: 919-481-2641
Work phone: 919-531-6077
Cell phone: 919-270-6155

1) What do you believe are the most important issues facing Cary?

Growth and economic development that remain true to the Town’s vision and overall plan; meaningful opportunities for citizen participation in Town government.

If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?

Changing the current policy requiring that site plans be automatically forwarded to P&Z after public hearing, regardless of their merit or support at that time. Proposals which do not have Council support for their size, scope or location at the time of public hearing should be stopped at the public hearing level. Sending all proposals, regardless of merit, to P&Z wastes Town and developers’ resources and sets an expectation that can only result in frustration for all parties.

The Council’s appointment process should result in the broadest possible diversity of perspective among members of the Town’s Boards and Commissions. To facilitate transparency, I support adding the occupation and employer of all appointees to the Board and Commission membership lists published on the Town of Cary website.

2) What is your philosophy regarding the pace of growth in Cary? Has it been too fast, about the right pace, or has growth been encumbered?

The pace of growth has seemed erratic and unbalanced for almost a decade. The pendulum has been allowed to swing too far one way and then reactively too far the other. District D citizens tell me that they support a more balanced and thoughtful approach to growth. Growth is not inherently good or bad. The degree of thoughtfulness and vision that goes into planning will ultimately determine whether growth has a positive or negative impact on Cary and its citizens.

3) Please reflect on the recent developments approved by council at the intersection of Davis Drive and High House Road and explain whether you believe those development plans, and the process by which they were negotiated and approved, represent healthy growth for Cary.

Overall the Searstone development was a thoughtful approach to the need for housing and support services for an aging Cary population (and those seniors yet to move here). The original scope of the project with less retail space was supported by a majority of the nearby homeowners. In contrast, the Crosland development is inappropriate for the corner of Davis and High House for multiple sound reasons that were well researched and articulated by local homeowners. The process used by the developer to gain approval of the project was suspect; the Council’s final approval of the project was viewed as disrespectful of the established process for citizen input and the rights of homeowners. When the voices of 1800 citizens are ignored and their legitimate concerns are stymied by their elected leaders, it does not bode well for Cary’s future.

4) How can the Town of Cary best ensure that infrastructure needs keep pace with growth? Please cite specific examples of policies or actions that the Town Council might undertake, or has undertaken, that you believe are effective or ineffective.

The presence and adequacy of (or plans on the books for) roads and water/sewer hook-ups as well as current and projected occupancy rates for local schools should be considered each time additional development is proposed.

5) Would you support Wake County’s Commissioners if they chose to put a land transfer-tax referendum on the ballot? Why or why not?

Yes, I would. It is always preferable to include as many citizens as possible in such decisions. A referendum is an excellent way to determine the level of citizen support for a legitimate funding option.

6) 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? In general, what can town leadership do to improve or strengthen the education system for Cary’s public school students?

Since we all profess to place great value on the education of our community’s children, the Town and the school system should have an open, collegial and cooperative relationship. I certainly think one way to strengthen the public school system is to carefully consider how and where Cary grows so that we do not continue to overwhelm school capacity. The Town should also advocate for careful planning and funding for new school construction by county commissioners and a school system that continues to offer parents the choice of a year-round school option. The creation of a municipal school district would obviously be a monumental change for local municipalities and the current school system. A thorough evaluation of the pros and cons must be done before considering a move to a separate school district or a sub-district.

7) Do you believe the Town of Cary has done a good job in recent years of involving citizens in the public process with regards to growth, education and other issues of interest?

Not in all areas. Citizens in District D are eager to see greater transparency in Town government and are committed to their role as a partner in, not the recipient of, policy decisions that affect their neighborhoods and families. As a Council member I will welcome the input of Cary citizens. The job of the Town Council is to seek out sources of reliable information and then make well-reasoned, evidenced-based decisions that consider current and future implications for the town and its citizens.

What, if anything, would you change about the way public input is incorporated into the town government’s decision making?

Citizens are currently frustrated with the shifting landscape of policies and procedures when they make good faith efforts to provide input on decisions that directly impact them, their neighborhoods and families. The entire process for citizen input needs to be more straightforward and protected from abuse by those who establish the rules and therefore know how to manipulate the system to their advantage.

The Council’s Board and Commission appointment process needs work. It should strive to create more diversity of perspective among members. Once this is accomplished, recommendations by Boards and Commissions should factor into Council deliberations and decisions more substantively.

8) Are you concerned about the long-term water quality of Jordan Lake, Cary’s primary source of drinking water? If so, what measures would you take to preserve or improve it?

I’m concerned about our water quality as well as the potential for overtaxing our water supply by poorly planned residential and commercial growth. The Council must be more consistent in adhering to established stream buffers to protect ground water. The Town has been wise to maintain year round water conservation measures before the situation becomes dire.

9) 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.

Over the course of my professional career I have held progressively more accountable appointed and elected positions. In my current policy-making role as a member of the NC Board of Nursing I have pushed for increased educational standards for nursing faculty and national accreditation of all of our state’s nursing education programs. As with any visionary idea that challenges the status quo this change has created anxiety and controversy among some constituencies. Along with other committed Board members and staff I have helped shepherd this change through the state’s rule-making process.

My leadership abilities and experience are at least partially illustrated by the positions I have held over the last eighteen years:

  • President, NC Nurses Association
  • Chair, NC Center for Nursing
  • Member, NC Legislative Study Commission on Access to Health Insurance
  • Co-chair, Preventive Services Task Force of the NC Health Planning Commission
  • Member, Triangle Chapter of the American Lung Association Board of Directors
  • Mentor, Peace College Mentoring Program
  • Special Voter Registration Commissioner, Wake County Board of Elections
  • North Carolina public member, Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

In my business career I have held a position of increasing complexity and responsibility for over 13 years. Under my leadership SAS Corporate Health Services has moved from a 17 staff member operation offering a limited scope of health care services to its current 59 member staff providing primary care to 10,000 employees and family members with an annual budget of $4 million. As part of this planned growth over the last decade we added new services including physical therapy; opened a second primary care practice to accommodate growth in our Cary employee base; and expanded our care of children of all ages.

Being a Town Council member will give me the opportunity to utilize skills I currently employ in my business and professional lives. I recognize that I am not a content expert (yet) on many Town issues. However, I believe that new knowledge is more easily attained than a change in attitude and values. I have a positive attitude about the challenges Cary faces and our collective ability to debate issues and explore alternatives. I value teamwork, honesty and respect for the decision-making process.

10) How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I believe that leadership is a privilege not a prize; once ‘chosen’, true leaders work for their constituents’ best interests. I believe that decisions must be data driven and that all individuals potentially impacted by a decision must have the opportunity to be heard and to participate meaningfully in the process. I value the input of citizens because they offer an ‘on the ground’ view of issues that a single individual or small group of individuals cannot possess, no matter how well intentioned. I am a centrist who works for outcomes which benefit as many stakeholders as possible.

11) Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

My willingness to consider options for raising revenues as an alternative to cutting staff and town services. It takes a combination of revenue sources to adequately and equitably fund local government; all possible revenue streams should be thoughtfully considered by the Council.

12) The Independent’s mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?

I absolutely believe that the process of policy-making must be understandable, accessible and equitable for all citizens. All players should be identifiable and no one individual or group should have undue public or private influence. If these fundamental principles are violated, Council members are responsible for questioning the process and outcome and for taking corrective measures. In my experience leadership takes commitment and courage. I pledge to be approachable, responsive to citizen concerns, honest in my dealings with constituents and my fellow Council members, and deliberate in my actions.

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