Bob’s 5-Point Platform
Bob provided leadership to the county’s recent strategic planning process that produced its five Strategic Pillars, which Bob adopts as his platform for moving the county forward.
- World Class Education
- Preserving Agriculture
- Smart Growth and Development
- Public Health and Safety
- Government Accountability and Resource Manaagement
Supporting public education is the cornerstone of Bob’s platform. He has been an outspoken advocate and champion for our schools, and he has cast his votes accordingly. He believes that a school system with the best teachers, utilizing the best methods with the right supports, in excellent facilities available to every child, will provide the strong foundation necessary for a strong and prosperous Alamance County. “All our children deserve the best opportunities to succeed,” he says. “When our kids succeed, we all succeed.”
Bob serves as a liaison to the Board of Education and is on the Alamance Achieves Steering Committee to engage the community around public education. He also was part of the Stakeholder’s Group in 2013 that developed “A Vision For Public Education in Alamance County,” which can be seen here.
Highlights of the Vision include statements such as:
- “We envision a public school system that is a national model for its curriculum and community engagement …”
- “We will be recognized as a preferred place to live, raise families and build businesses, specifically because of the quality of our public education system.”
- “Our students will be well-prepared to live, work, lead and govern in our local, national and global communities …”
- “Our school system will be preferred by high quality teachers as a result of our respect for and trust in them, our community and professional support, and competitive compensation.”
- “Our schools and related facilities will be safe and well-maintained …”
The vision was adopted by the Alamance County Board of Education and endorsed by the Alamance County Board of Commissioners, the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce, and many other community organizations.
Bob says achieving the Vision will take a concerted effort by all elected officials, parents, school employees, and the community at large. He points out that Alamance County, through tax dollars, provides a significant amount of the school system’s budget, including the funds necessary for facilities and teacher pay supplements. He firmly believes that Alamance County can provide the Alamance Burlington School System the local funding it needs to, over time, achieve the vision, while keeping local tax rates reasonable, appropriate, and comparable to similar communities in the state.
“We have to look at the bigger picture,” he says. “How many people, professionals and non-professionals alike, choose not to live here, even though they may work here, because they perceive the school systems in neighboring communities to be better for their children?” He thinks the answer is a lot, and the economic impact of those situations is significant. “When someone chooses not to live here, they end up paying property taxes somewhere else, they spend their shopping and dining dollars somewhere else, they are not supporting our local businesses, the associated sales tax revenue goes to another community, and we lose potential role models and talent that would otherwise be engaged in our churches, our schools, and our community at large.”
Bob pledges to continue to keep the Vision for Public Education before the Commissioners when making funding decisions. He also pledges to continue to work to improve the collaboration between the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners so that all issues associated with public education and funding can be communicated and understood.
“We all need to work together for the desired end-result,” Bob says. “Together, we can make Alamance County a more prosperous community through a stronger public education system.”
Bob understands the importance of our local farmers on our economy, our community’s sustainability, and the health benefits of consuming locally produced fruits, vegetables, and meats. He has been an active participant in the Voluntary Agriculture District Board meetings and voted to provide county funds for the Farm Preservation Program. “Our society is losing farmland at an alarming rate,” says Bob. “Once it is gone, it is gone forever.” Bob also was active in the formation of the Alamance Food Collaborative.
A supporter of economic incentives to attract and retain high paying jobs and to expand the county’s tax base to help keep tax rates low, Bob knows that we must balance industrial growth with protecting our natural and agricultural resources. “Our county is rich with parks, trails, waterways such as the Haw River, and farmland that help to define who we are,” says Bob. “We need to make sure that future generations can enjoy these resources.”
Bob’s distinguished career in health care makes him especially suited to appreciate and support public health and safety initiatives. He serves on Alamance County’s Board of Health, the board of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare (the mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority that covers a 20-county area, including Alamance), and the NC Local Health Department Accreditation Board (for accrediting local health departments across the state). Bob also co-chairs the county’s Justice Advisory Council, which oversees the Family Justice Center, focusing on domestic violence, and the Stepping Up Initiative, a national program to reduce the number of persons with mental illness in county detention centers. He’s also engaged in finding solutions to the county’s Opioid crisis.
Bob will continue to work hard to earn the trust and confidence of our citizens by being open minded, honest, transparent, and collaborative. “That’s how I’ve lived my life,” says Bob. Being fiscally responsible is key. “Our task is to balance the budget and keep the tax burden reasonable while providing needed resources to move forward,” he says. “We must invest wisely in our future.” Bob also knows that the most valuable asset in any organization is its workforce, and that a motivated and engaged workforce is the most efficient and effective way to carry out important work. In order to attract and retain the best staff, he supports adopting best employment practices, including fair wages, respect, and appreciation for work well done, to make Alamance County one of the most desired places to work.
Bob is active with the NC Association of County Commissioners, where he is a member of the board or directors and serves as the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. “Serving with the commissioner’s association has given me invaluable insights on how to govern better,” says Bob. “The challenges we have in Alamance County are not unique to us. It’s been great to work closely with other commissioners across the state in solving common problems.” Through his service to the association and his achieving continuing education requirements, Bob is recognized as a “Practitioner” commissioner by the Local Elected Leaders Academy, a program of the UNC School of Government, the NC Association of County Commissioners, and the NC League of Municipalities.