Next Indian Trail council has big decisions on tap

INDIAN TRAIL – Voters in Indian Trail could dramatically shift the direction of town government or cast a vote of confidence in the progressive tone of recent town decisions in November’s council election.

Two seats are up for grabs, as council members Robert Allen and Darlene Luther opted not to seek re-election. The two new council members could swing the balance of the five-member, party-unaffiliated council at a time when Indian Trail is undertaking numerous projects that some say is investing in the town’s future through infrastructure and quality of life improvements and others say is spending money Indian Trail doesn’t have.

Two of those issues are the town’s law enforcement needs assessment, which could be completed around the time the new council is seated, and a proposed town center, about which possible funding details should soon be discussed.

Each candidate was asked the same questions and responded through email. Gordon Daniels did not respond by press deadline.

Find more information about these candidates and other candidates from western Union County towns in future issues.

Indian Trail Town Council

David Drehs
704-821-6115
www.daveforittowncouncil.com
daviddrehs@gmail.com

Relevant Experience: Work at Carolina Network Solutions, Inc.; retired from the U.S. Army after 22 years, serving as U.S. Army Detachment First Sergeant in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment in Desert Storm; Boy Scout Troop 9 Scoutmaster for multiple years.
Education: Bachelor of Science, computer science, Capella University
Family: Wife, Eileen; four children, David, Christina, Paul and Edward; two grandchildren
Years Lived In Indian Trail: 17 years

What do you feel is the single greatest issue facing Indian Trail today?

My first priority would be to find out how the decision to moving more and faster traffic in front of our high school was made and why they thought it was a good Idea. We should make sure that all improvements to roads and zoning changes should take the location of our schools and our children into account.

 

If the town’s law enforcement needs assessment recommends adding deputies in Indian Trail, would you push to hire more deputies, and if so, how would you recommend paying for the additional law enforcement?

Yes, public safety is the most important thing our town can provide to its citizens. No request for our tax dollars should be rubber-stamped, but if we truly need more deputies, we should hire them.  I think we could pay for any new deputies by spending less on nice-to-have items like the new signage the town is working on.

Do you feel Indian Trail should construct a community center, which could house town hall, a senior center and other options?

I don’t think we need a community center. We do need an updated town hall. The current building will not hold all of our citizens that show up for important town meetings. Many times I’ve attended meeting where I was concerned about the safety of everyone crowded into such a small room.

As a council member, would you be more concerned with investing in Indian Trail to bring in more commercial development and improve infrastructure, or saving taxpayer money and keeping the rural community feel many moved/stay in Indian Trail for?

Indian Trail is the largest city in Union County.  I think development is going to happen; making it smart, safe development will be the challenge for our town.  When we moved here we asked ourselves four questions: Is it safe? If not, we do not want to live there; how are the schools?; how much does it cost? This includes taxes; what is the quality of life? I will ask myself these four questions every time I make a decision about our town’s growth.

Michael Faulkenberry
704-289-1055
www.facebook.com/michael.faulkenberry.79
michaelfaulkenberry@ymail.com

Relevant Experience: I served in the U.S. Air Force for six years, receiving the Good Conduct Medal and later receiving an honorable discharge. I also have worked in the trucking industry for 20 years, starting on the loading dock and working my way up to a shift dispatcher being responsible for 30 over-the-road drivers for my shift. I know how to assess a situation, investigate it and provide insight as to what options can be done and to solve the problem under pressure.
Education: High school in Lancaster, S.C.; classes at South Piedmont Community College – Monroe Campus; currently attending Central Piedmont Community College for a career in graphic design.
Family: Wife, Amanda
Years Lived In Indian Trail: Since 1999

What do you feel is the single greatest issue facing Indian Trail today?

The single greatest issue to me is the amount of DEBT Indian Trail is facing now and in the near future. How can other infrastructure projects take place without burdening the taxpayer more? What are the priorities for this new council and future councils? Concerns that will have to be addressed soon before residents and business owners become frustrated, then they would move out of Indian Trail.

 

If the town’s law enforcement needs assessment recommends adding deputies in Indian Trail, would you push to hire more deputies, and if so, how would you recommend paying for the additional law enforcement?
If the law enforcement needs assessment does recommend adding deputies, then yes, I would have deputies added according to the recommendations provided by the assessment study. First, I have to thoroughly look at the budget to see what, if any, funding options are available before making any commitments. The future of Indian Trail’s residents is at stake, and public safety is a top priority of mine.  Serious research must be done as to what other funding options are available. Since I am now only a resident, I do not have access to all funding options that could be implemented.

Do you feel Indian Trail should construct a community center, which could house town hall, a senior center and other options?

Evidence must be provided to prove the Blythe Drive town hall building is now too small for town staff. If proven and until enough funding has been saved, options I have are to build an addition to either the existing civic building, Cultural Arts Center or to the Blythe Drive town hall building; look for an existing commercial building within Indian Trail town limits to use as an annex for the existing town hall; or find another building using the second option for the Cultural Arts Center. Combination of three options can be used depending on cost.

As a council member, would you be more concerned with investing in Indian Trail to bring in more commercial development and improve infrastructure, or saving taxpayer money and keeping the rural community feel many moved/stay in Indian Trail for?

Why make a choice since all of the concerns are all equally important and will have to be addressed simultaneously? To ensure proper growth and cost effectiveness for Indian Trail to be successful, there shouldn’t be any favorites. To favor one over the others will have a drastic effect on Indian Trail now and for years to come. According to the Comprehensive Plan, part of Indian Trail will remain a rural community feel, but continued feedback from as many Indian Trail residents as possible (is needed) because the town belongs to them, not the government.

Scott Haydel
hcprayer@gmail.com
No headshot available

Relevant Experience: No previous political experience
Education: Some college
Family: Married for 16 years, two children
Years Lived In Indian Trail: 11 Years

What do you feel is the single greatest issue facing Indian Trail today?

I feel the single greatest issue for Indian Trail is becoming a 21st century town while keeping a 19th century feel.

 

If the town’s law enforcement needs assessment recommends adding deputies in Indian Trail, would you push to hire more deputies, and if so, how would you recommend paying for the additional law enforcement?

Yes, because I feel the most important function of government is to provide protection to its citizens. Without having the budget in front of me, I am reluctant to comment on how to pay, other than to say I am confident hiring new deputies can be done without raising any new taxes. There is always room in every budget for cuts.

Do you feel Indian Trail should construct a community center, which could house town hall, a senior center and other options?

No.

As a council member, would you be more concerned with investing in Indian Trail to bring in more commercial development and improve infrastructure, or saving taxpayer money and keeping the rural community feel many moved/stay in Indian Trail for?

My family and I chose Union County because of the rural feel with urban amenities. As a town council member, my main concern would be to provide businesses with an environment prone to growth while keeping aspects of the rural feel alive and well. I feel many families move to Union County for the same reasons my wife and I moved here.

Jerry Morse
704-995-6622
www.facebook.com/Jerry.Morse.2013
Jerry_Morse@AOL.com

Relevant Experience: Currently serving as president of Carolina’s Virginia Pheasant and Waterfowl Society in addition to having served as vice president and as a N.C. director (7+ years). I presently work for a medium-sized local company (16+ years) as the production and materials manager with additional responsibilities in overseeing the company’s OSHA and safety program for 20+ employees. Achieved Eagle Scout at Indian Trail Troop 276, and I am an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Air Force.
Education: 1979 graduate of Sun Valley High School; 1981 graduate USAF Avionics – Electronics/Radar/WCSS in Denver, Co. (equivalent two year degree in civilian sector); attended Central Florida Community College and Central Piedmont Community College for many years while employed in order to acquire specific skill sets for my chosen career field.
Family: Married to wife, Sheryl, for nearly 25 years. We have one daughter and a grandson.
Years Lived In Indian Trail: 26 years in Indian Trail; more than 32 years in Union County.

What do you feel is the single greatest issue facing Indian Trail today?

Crony capitalism! Someone please tell me that this just didn’t happen with the Carolina Courts Economic Development Incentive deal.  It’s wrong to have government and business begin “private-partnerships” when they are unfairly taking money from you, me and the other residents and property taxpayers, then sticking it into someone else’s pocket. Indian Trail paid $75,000.00 for land and then sold it for $5,000; with $10,000 payouts every year for the next 15 years. Yes, crony capitalism is alive and doing well in Indian Trail. Answer me this; why shouldn’t every other business in Indian Trail expect to receive this same treatment?

 

If the town’s law enforcement needs assessment recommends adding deputies in Indian Trail, would you push to hire more deputies, and if so, how would you recommend paying for the additional law enforcement?

Regardless of the assessment recommendations, the next town council needs to begin having a serious dialog with the community, county and the sheriff’s office regarding our short- and long-term needs, goals and objectives for policing Indian Trail. Presently, Indian Trail is spending a huge amount of money on “wants” and not “needs.” Spending $350,000+ on wayfinding signs is just one example of senseless “wants” spending. Policing services are essential. I recommend going through the budget and eliminating all unnecessary spending first and redirecting those monies to fund additional law enforcement needs before we consider doing anything else, especially raising taxes again.

Do you feel Indian Trail should construct a community center, which could house town hall, a senior center and other options?

No. At this point in time, the businesses and residents of Indian Trail cannot afford to have their property taxes raised again. Remember these two numbers: 27.5 percent and $11 million. The first was the (4-cent) tax increase implemented about a year ago.  The second is the amount of debt we have to pay back. I would love a new community and senior center for the residents. My mother is in her 70s, and I am in my 50s. I am not comfortable indebting your/our children and grandchildren for one of my wants. You know… “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

As a council member, would you be more concerned with investing in Indian Trail to bring in more commercial development and improve infrastructure, or saving taxpayer money and keeping the rural community feel many moved/stay in Indian Trail for?

I believe it’s mostly important to keep the rural feel and the property taxes as they are now instead of trying to be something envisioned on some planning person’s wall. This is why people move to Indian Trail – to live in a rural community and yet enjoy the conveniences of the surrounding areas. It also reminds me of a bait and switch tactic: lure businesses and people into a community with the promise of having low taxes, only then to turn around and raise everyone’s taxes. If you want high taxes, the urban feel and high-density housing, you would move to Charlotte, not Indian Trail.

Gary Savoie
704-996-1074
www.garysavoie.com
garysavoie4ittc@gmail.com

Relevant Experience: Training and operations non-commissioned officer, 82nd Airborne Division, East Carolina University Inter-fraternity Council, ECU Student Government Association, 15 years in the asset management industry – director, manager, financial planning and analysis, working with CEOs, CFOs and CIOs, also a member on numerous committees
Education: Bachelor of Science, criminal justice (Pre-Law), Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Family: Spouse – Stevie (Stephanie), Daughters: Tanner (12), Savannah (11), Piper (9), Bryce (17 months) and son Nelson (4)
Years Lived In Indian Trail: Five and a half years; more than 10 years in Union County

What do you feel is the single greatest issue facing Indian Trail today?

Actually, there are several very important issues facing Indian Trail today. I believe we need to have and portray a government that citizens will have trust, pride and respect for. We need to have roadways that will accommodate the 35,000 + people calling Indian Trail home. I want to make sure that we attract good jobs to our town that will help those who need employment and will lower the burden of residential tax payers. Finally, having public safety that is second to none for a municipality our size will be an outstanding and meaningful accomplishment.

If the town’s law enforcement needs assessment recommends adding deputies in Indian Trail, would you push to hire more deputies, and if so, how would you recommend paying for the additional law enforcement?

I believe the safety and well-being of our citizens are a top priority for this town council. If the assessment determined that additional deputies are warranted, I would consider adding these resources. During the town council’s assessment of this issue, we need to be conscious of transparency and ensuring input from the public. To finance the additional deputies, I would begin by assessing our budget and look for efficiencies to pay for any additional deputies. Currently, we have a grant for two of our serving deputies. I also will look to mirror this approach by looking for grants to fund any additional deputies needed.  This approach will lessen the burden on our budget. I want to stress that one of my main goals will be to focus on sound and prudent tax management. Like most individuals, I do not like when taxes are raised.

Do you feel Indian Trail should construct a community center, which could house town hall, a senior center and other options?

My attention will be placed on Indian Trail’s core services, making sure we are moving to a better place with the town’s infrastructure. We need to find ways to reduce traffic congestion and work to fix our roads. I want to see attention being placed on bringing jobs to Indian Trail. Public safety assurance for our citizens and satisfaction with the services that are provided also are a priority. Focus on bringing civility into all works of the council, instilling a sense of pride and confidence in our government should be in the forefront of community service. Once these projects have been accomplished, a feasibility study should be conducted prior to the consideration of constructing a community center. As aforementioned, focus should be placed on sound and prudent tax management.

As a council member, would you be more concerned with investing in Indian Trail to bring in more commercial development and improve infrastructure, or saving taxpayer money and keeping the rural community feel many moved/stay in Indian Trail for?

My family moved to Union County in 2001 and to Indian Trail in 2008. The main reason was because of the lower taxes, rural feel and schools within the county. I was amazed when I learned that Indian Trail was the 24th largest town in North Carolina. I want to continue to keep taxes low. To do this, we need to balance bringing in jobs to offset the residential taxpayer’s burden with our hometown feel. We also need to ensure we create a business environment that will attract good businesses, which will in turn provide good jobs.  This can be accomplished by making sure regulations for business make sense for them and Indian Trail, which will create a symbiotic relationship that is good for all. In the end, taxes will be kept low, enabling us to limit residential taxpayer spending.

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One Response

  1. Michael Faulkenberry

    Good luck to all of the candidates running for Indian Trail Town Council.

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