Election Preview: Indian Trail

New council will decide on law enforcement needs

INDIAN TRAIL – Deciding how many Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies Indian Trail needs and how to pay for them will likely be one of the first big decisions the new council faces in December.

Voters will put two new council members into office on Election Day, Nov. 5, to fill the seats of council members Robert Allen and Darlene Luther. Neither incumbent is seeking re-election, and after an initial filing saw as many as nine residents sign up to run, the field is now down to six possible candidates. The new council will be sworn in shortly after the election.

The current council recently approved a law enforcement assessment to judge how many deputies Indian Trail needs now and in the near future. The results of that assessment could be presented to council later this year or early next year, and council members would have to decide how to fund the additional deputies if an assessment says Indian Trail is not safe at current deputy levels. Town manager Joe Fivas estimated earlier this year that adding deputies would cost $88,662 each for salary, benefits and equipment.

In a survey submitted to Union County Weekly in August, Indian Trail council candidates all said they would look at the current budget to see if cuts could be made to fund additional officers instead of increasing taxes to pay for the increase in public safety officers.

The assessment also will study if the town would save money by starting its own police department instead of contracting for protection from the sheriff’s office. Allen and Luther, the outgoing council members, were the only two advocates for starting a police force on the current board.

Other big items the new council will soon address could include building a community center and future phases of the town’s two new parks – Chestnut Square Park and Crooked Creek Park – which are both currently under
construction.

Find more information about Indian Trail candidates at www.unioncounty weekly.com by searching “Indian Trail Election.”

Scott Haydel did not respond to Union County Weekly by press deadline.

Indian Trail Town Council

Gordon Daniels

I am an honest and practical leader with more than 30 years of corporate business experience in commercial lending; financial and nonprofit accounting; and estate, corporate and property tax preparation. I am the leader with the right experience to keep Indian Trail moving forward in economic development. I also am a man of integrity, ready to work for all citizens of Indian Trail. While campaigning in our neighborhoods, I met a citizen who has flooding issues in her neighborhood. I listened to her frustration and offered to help. The next day I transported her to Monroe to look up documents that could aid her in resolving the situation. I am a problem-solver with an honest desire to help our citizens. I am Gordon Daniels, and I am the candidate to keep Indian Trail moving forward. I will bring integrity, leadership and my financial business experience to the Indian Trail Town Council and to the people of Indian Trail.

David Drehs

I would make a good Indian Trail Town Council member because I know how to listen. You cannot spend 22 years in the U.S. Army and not know when to lead and when to follow. I know how to listen to two opposing sides and then listen to a third and a fourth side, if necessary, and then make a levelheaded decision and resolve the issue. I’ve been involved in local politics, campaigning for effective school board members over the last 10 years. I understand that a successful outcome for the children of Indian Trail and Union County requires working together with the school board, the town of Indian Trail and the Union County Board of
Commissioners. I have successfully run my own local business, Carolina Network Solutions, administering computer networks for small to midsize businesses since 2005. I served as a Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 9 for 10 years, encouraging and coaching eight of those Scouts from our town to attain the rank of Eagle Scouts. I served on the council at Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church for four years (two terms) and served as president of the church council for three years.

Michael Faulkenberry

I served in the U.S. Air Force for six years and, as only a pay grade of E-4, reported to an Air Force Base Commander and Wing Commander with expenditure reports for government-issued credit cards ensuring appropriate spending was done for the 13,800-square-mile Minuteman ICBM base. Also, I have been a trucking dispatcher for 20 years and know how to respond under pressure when a plan falls apart. In 2011 through 2012, I functioned as a liaison between my neighborhood and a commercial developer. For the last three years as a resident, I have attended council and committee meetings involving myself in Indian Trail town business. I pledge to bring a new ERA to Indian Trail: ethical representation; responsible spending of taxpayer money; and accountability to the public. I see myself as a “public servant” with no special interests. I will research alternative methods of handling town needs and services before raising taxes. I believe government should be open, transparent and by the people. I will focus on improving infrastructure. I will work on improving relationships with residents, the town staff, town committees, the county and communities surrounding Indian Trail. For more views and information, go to www.facebook.com/michael.faulkenberry.79.

Jerry Morse

My name is Jerry Morse and I am a fiscal conservative who understands how to live within my means and most importantly – I understand the importance of being a good custodian of other people’s money. I believe less government is better, less wasteful spending is an absolute necessity, balanced budgets are crucial, keeping property taxes low is vital, reducing public debt encourages growth, and a free market economy with fewer regulations will bring jobs and economic development. I have been very involved since 2012 regarding the different issues facing Indian Trail and have attended many town council meetings and other government committee and board functions. By doing so, it’s apparent Indian Trail needs, now more than ever, to elect an honest, open-minded, respectful, fiscally responsible, consistently involved, transparent, accountable person who represents all the people and not just special interest groups. I believe our constitutional and individual property rights are being systematically eroded, and I vow to protect and defend our civil liberties and property rights. The infrastructure is inadequate, and the roads are unable to keep up with the demands of our increasing population. If elected, I will eliminate all unnecessary spending in order to correct this very important need.

Gary Savoie

On Nov. 5, I am requesting residents elect me to the Indian Trail Town Council based upon my 30 years of leadership experience. I seek office having no special interest ties preventing me from openly and honestly representing the needs of our citizens. I am strongly committed to family values and want to contribute to moving the town forward and to make it a better place for future generations. There are a number of pressing issues we face due to our rapidly expanding population. First and foremost is infrastructure development. Our roads desperately need to be repaired and expanded to reduce traffic congestion. Also, our town is in need of additional construction of sidewalks. I want to see increased attention placed on attracting businesses with well-paying jobs to Indian Trail, thus reducing the residential taxpayer’s burden. My hope is to ensure that public safety assurance for our citizens and satisfaction with the services that are provided also are a priority. Creating a town that has pride and respect for its local government and has full faith in their decision-making is one of my concerns. One of my main goals will be to focus on sound and prudent tax management that will be beneficial to all citizens.

Below is coverage from this election season in Indian Trail:

From October 11:

With two seats open, Indian Trail prepares to vote

INDIAN TRAIL – With less than a month left before the majority of voters cast their ballot to fill the two open seats on Indian Trail Town Council, candidates are working to create a little bit of separation on the key problems they could soon be tasked with solving.

Councilmembers Robert Allen and Darlene Luther opted not to seek re-election this fall, leaving their two seats open for two of the six candidates running. Union County Weekly recently sent questions to all six candidates, asking about town road bond expenditures, business incentives, fees for park usage and more. Candidates responded through email, and Scott Haydel did not respond to emails or phone calls prior to press deadline. Jerry

Morse was granted additional time to answer.

Find more information about the election in Indian Trail and other western Union County towns at www.unioncounty weekly.com.

Gordon Daniels

What initiatives from other area towns would you like to see brought to Indian Trail and how would that help the town?
I believe each town is unique to itself.   Therefore, it would be prudent and respectful to have the residents of Indian Trail create their own initiatives. Indian Trail residents should partake in the planning or strategy process to deal with the town’s problems. They should be involved in the processes that, once taken, determine subsequent events.
One size does not always fit all. One town’s initiatives will not necessarily fit another town’s needs.

Would you be willing to put the town into debt to move forward on the remaining $15 million in road bond projects voters recently approved?
Indian Trail residents have the right and opportunity to determine if the recently approved $15 million bond project needs to be increased. Therefore, the residents will and should determine the amount of financial involvement in a given project.

Would you allow Indian Trail-based athletic associations that have members from outside Indian Trail to use fields at the new park for free, or would you charge for the use?
I recently visited a nearby town’s park, and I did not notice any visitation restrictions regarding residency. I went over to the tennis courts to see if a residency restriction was posted. I did not find one. I called the park’s director and asked the question, “Do you allow all occupants regardless of residency?” Yes was the answer, “because we are a park.”
In general, public parks are open to the public. Unless a park is deemed private (signs, gates and other “tags”), the public views a park as open to the public.

Would you support offering tax incentives or tax breaks to draw new businesses or business expansion in Indian Trail, and if so, what stipulations would you put on the agreement?
In business there is a process called Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), which is often used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the outcome of a given decision. It is an analysis of the expected balance of benefits and costs. CBA helps predict whether the benefits of a policy outweigh its costs, and by how much relative to other alternatives.
Businesses contribute corporate, real estate and personal property tax revenue. Also, jobs are available, and payroll taxes are generated. Add in the availability of services to the area and you have the benefits of adding businesses to the area. The cost is the offering of tax abatements for a period of time. If the CBA determines the benefits greatly outweigh the cost, the prudent decision would be to offer a tax break with the stipulation that the developer will absorb the cost of maintaining the newly developed land and its surroundings for the duration of the tax abatement.

David Drehs

What initiatives from other area towns would you like to see brought to Indian Trail and how would that help the town?
Indian Trail is so unique with many different neighborhoods that I think it’s hard to find something from another town/city that would work well for us.  As an example:  the public safety committee tried using the animal control law from Waxhaw, and that did not work for us at all.  However, we should certainly look at such initiatives and build on them for our town.

Would you be willing to put the town into debt to move forward on the remaining $15 million in road bond projects voters recently approved?
As much as I dislike incurring debt, the citizens of Indian Trail have made it clear at the ballot box that they want our roads improved.   I would try to ensure that the bond projects go forward efficiently and effectively.

Would you allow Indian Trail-based athletic associations that have members from outside Indian Trail to use fields at the new park for free, or would you charge for the use?
I would allow non-resident members of Indian Trail associations to use the fields at no charge. Our children certainly use the parks in other towns.  I’m in favor of anything that gets our children outside and active.

Would you support offering tax incentives or tax breaks to draw new businesses or business expansion in Indian Trail, and if so, what stipulations would you put on the agreement?
I am not a fan of corporate welfare, but I am a businessman and have run my own business for eight years. Sometimes I have to spend a buck to make a buck and a half. As long as the incentives have performance expectations and time limits, I would support them.

Michael Faulkenberry

What initiatives from other area towns would you like to see brought to Indian Trail and how would that help the town?
Indian Trail has its own identity, and to try to copy initiatives from other area towns could change what the character of Indian Trail is all about. There are many residents, business owners, committee members and town staff in Indian Trail who can provide suggestions to improve the town. Residents who have lived in Indian Trail all their lives and some who have recently moved to Indian Trail, their feedback is what I prefer to listen to because of their life experiences and knowledge, not from a template from another town.

Would you be willing to put the town into debt to move forward on the remaining $15 million in road bond projects voters recently approved?
The key words in this question are “voters recently approved.” I will not override the decisions made by the voters and would honor the will of the voters. If I am elected to a council seat, I am to serve the public and not myself. Do I agree with spending money for roads that belong to the county or state? No, I don’t. Why do we pay such a high state gas tax and have local municipalities still paying more for road improvements? In the near future, Indian Trail will be required to maintain more roads due to federal, state and county budget cuts, which was discussed in a town transportation committee meeting last week. How will Indian Trail fund those extra costs will be the next concern. For Indian Trail to be a more pedestrian-friendly town, Indian Trail will need to add more sidewalks, which there is a large need for, especially near the older housing developments and schools. I am in full support of building more sidewalks in Indian Trail with the existing approved bond. I voted for the sidewalk improvement bond in 2011.

Would you allow Indian Trail-based athletic associations that have members from outside Indian Trail to use fields at the new park for free, or would you charge for the use?
If the associations are based in Indian Trail, it shouldn’t matter where their members are from. The Indian Trail Parks, Greenway and Tree Committee will soon address, with experts from nearby athletic associations, if and what type of fees would be necessary in maintaining the sport fields. Also, who (organizations, associations, clubs, etc.) can and can’t use the sport facilities.  If fees are necessary from all of the athletic associations using the sport fields, then the Indian Trail-based athletic associations as a whole would pay the fee for their use of the fields, not the individuals. It would be the recommendation from the Parks, Greenway, and Tree Committee if waiving fees for Indian Trail-based athletic associations also is an option.

Would you support offering tax incentives or tax breaks to draw new businesses or business expansion in Indian Trail, and if so, what stipulations would you put on the agreement?
This is what I propose for all businesses (old and new) in Indian Trail. Relax some of the ordinances in use now. The Chick-fil-A isn’t allowed to use their cow mascot to advertise their business while standing beside the road because it is considered a walking billboard. Why bother bringing in new businesses in if you are going to impede them from advertising? Another complaint I have received from business owners is not being able to place temporary signs near a road to bring in customers. (That’s important for) businesses located far off of busy highways or blocked by other storefronts.  Business privilege licenses should be the same for all of the same type of businesses. A large retail store pays the same fee as a smaller hardware store that is three times smaller in size. Waive the business privilege license the first three years for new businesses. Defer property taxes the first five years for new businesses to allow them to get well established. How well Indian Trail treats existing and new businesses will then determine business expansion. I encourage town staff to meet with business owners to hear their concerns.

Gary Savoie

What initiatives from other area towns would you like to see brought to Indian Trail and how would that help the town?
I would like to see more of a focus placed on Indian Trail senior citizens.  Some area towns have a group/club that promotes fellowship and activities for their senior citizens.  They have meeting places that engage in many activities for senior citizens of all ages focusing on health and fitness, arts and crafts, various types of classes and picnics/outings.  I also would like to see a formal program set up that engages in frequent dialogue with our school commissioners, ensuring Indian Trail has adequate school facilities for our children, and that we are informed about their long-term strategic plan for our town.  Lastly, I would like to see an established beautification committee focused on the aesthetics of the town which would provide structured ways of keeping up the town’s appearance.  Like surrounding towns, its effectiveness would showcase our town as one that cares about appearance while giving all residents a sense pride in their community.

Would you be willing to put the town into debt to move forward on the remaining $15 million in road bond projects voters recently approved?
The No. 1 issue I hear from constituents is that we need to improve the roads/traffic congestion we face on a daily basis.  My top priority would be to work diligently to improve our infrastructure with a focus on Old Monroe Road, Idlewild Road, Chestnut Parkway and Wesley Chapel Road.  Once these infrastructure issues have been addressed, our citizens will not be so frustrated while commuting around town. We need to ensure the decisions we make with investing in our community pays dividends that benefit Indian Trail residents.  I want to emphasize that the last thing I want to do is raise taxes.  Instead, I would look to the capital reserve fund to assist with these issues with hopes of setting up an action plan to actively monitor the funding of these initiatives.  Using the capital reserve fund provides a good alternative funding source and a way to not raise taxes.  I believe my experience in the financial industry will help in navigating through the financial complexities Indian Trail faces.  I want to make certain we make prudent decisions when it comes to managing debt.

Would you allow Indian Trail-based athletic associations that have members from outside Indian Trail to use fields at the new park for free, or would you charge for the use?
I respect athletic associations such as the Porter Ridge Athletic Association and the Indian Trail Athletic Association.  These associations are dedicated to promoting health among our children and giving them a chance to engage in organized recreation.  The two aforementioned organizations have about 100 teams with well more than 3,000 members. They function as non-profit entities, which are not heavy on cash.  These associations are very good at attracting sponsorships.  I would suggest that we set a minimum of sponsors that these associations should come up with.  The dollars from these sponsorships can go toward improving and maintaining the facilities being used.  I believe everyone will agree that seeing children smiling, laughing and having fun in organized events is worth more than a usage charge.

Would you support offering tax incentives or tax breaks to draw new businesses or business expansion in Indian Trail, and if so, what stipulations would you put on the agreement?
I am a firm believer that Indian Trail needs to find ways to improve our commercial tax base and reduce the burden that is currently placed on our residential taxpayers.   Not only is the reduction of the allocation of residential taxpayers to our tax revenue important, we also need to actively recruit jobs to the Indian Trail area.   If we can increase our commercial tax base and bring jobs to Indian Trial, then I would consider incentives.  I will not support any incentives unless there is some type of claw-back provision for such things as failing to meet investment, operation or employment goals.  I also want to point out that on Page 9 of the 2011 Indian Trail Community Survey, 50 percent of respondents were very supportive, and 33 percent were somewhat supportive of having the town use incentives to attract and expand retail, entertainment, science and technology research and regional office companies to the Indian Trail area.

 

From August 30:

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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