Candidates Set Goals

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CUMBERLAND – Candidates for the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors and School Board gathered together on Sunday afternoon to participate in a forum sponsored by the NAACP Cumberland Branch.

Rev. Winfred M. Jones, pastor of Deliverance Church of Christ II in Gladstone, moderated the forum.

Each School Board candidate was given time to introduce themselves and later they were asked two questions that were submitted by Cumberland citizens.

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Afterwards, it was the Board of Supervisors candidates' turn at the podium-they were allowed time to introduce themselves and then each candidate was asked one question selected from those received from citizens due to time constraints.

The forum started at 4 p.m. and was held at the Cumberland Elementary School.

“We have interesting dynamics going on in this year's election,” said Yvonne Earvin, representing the NAACP, during the introduction, “and many issues that need to be addressed as a community. Hopefully, this forum will assist in this by open communication and individual contacts with the candidates.”

The last day to register to vote for the November 8 election is October 17, she noted. Absentee ballots are due November 1 and the deadline for absentee in-person voting is November 5.

Although there were only a handful of citizens present at the forum, the candidates expressed their beliefs and goals for Cumberland.

At the end of the forum, NAACP President Harry Marshall addressed the candidates and small group of citizens present. “I would like to thank our candidates for coming and sharing their thoughts with us and I'd like to thank our citizens for being here….”

Constitutional Officers

On the ballot for reelection will be the Commonwealth's Attorney, Patricia D. Scales; Sheriff, Darrell L. Hodges; Commissioner of Revenue, Anita H. French; and Treasurer L.O “Lee” Pfeiffer Jr. Each of the Constitutional Officers were introduced at the beginning of the forum. On the ballot will also be the Soil and Water Conservation Directors for the Peter Francisco District (citizens vote for two): Terry D. Seal and M. Todd Smith.<br />

School Board Candidates

District One

District One School Board candidate Ginger M. Sanderson started off by introducing herself to the citizens present. She is running unopposed for reelection.

She offered that she has been working in the field of special education for almost 19 years.

“It is a passion,” she said. “…That is why I'm so determined to work hard to ensure the best of students and teachers, and Cumberland County patrons. I've worked hard to ensure the alignment of policies and resources like our research based curriculum.”

Ms. Sanderson also noted the new reading program at Cumberland Elementary School.

“I attended and worked endlessly when we first had to cut positions several years ago,” said Ms. Sanderson. “At these meetings we literally shaved off funds of different areas to try to save jobs and other staff. Also today, each time a person leaves a position, has a life change where they need to move-that position is reviewed and researched to determine if there is any other staff that can absorb those responsibilities prior to putting that position out.”

She also noted “cross-training” staff in other areas.

“We really want to be good stewards of the County, State, and federal funds that they allow us,” she said. “Transparency is another area that I've worked hard with administration to ensure that the patrons of Cumberland know and understand the policies, procedures, that we need to meet state and national standards.”

Ms. Sanderson later addressed several things she wants to continue when elected back on the School Board.

“I want to continue to work on our accountability,” she said. “Public schools are accountable to you guys in the community and we spend taxpayers' money and we need to do so responsibly…”

“Quality research based practices of curriculum” is another goal, she offered.

“Another area to keep on striving for is staffing,” she added. “We need to continue to work to maintain high quality staff in curriculum areas. And last but certainly not least we need to continue to develop parental and Cumberland patrons' involvement…”

District Two

District Two School Board candidate George Lee Dowdy III was next to speak. He is also running for reelection.

“Throughout the last four years, we've sought to change our school system,” began Dowdy about his last four years on the Board. “We originally, one of our goals was to be a model rural school system but in today's time you have to be more than a rural school system for other school system's to mirror your image. You have to be a global community provider. In the last four years we have continued to do so by dropping the 'rural' in model rural school system and we have become more of a model school system for, both, inner school systems and for rural schools.”

Dowdy addressed one of his issues pertaining to rising school lunch costs.

“They will continue to rise until they meet, I think, $2.75,” he said. “Well, we live in a community where the average income is between $15,000 and $25,000 and most children, 70 percent, are on free and reduced lunch and I will continue to oppose the increase in school lunches…The rise in school lunches, is that really going to prepare the lunch to be a more nutritious lunch? There is probably a way to do that without raising the price.”

Dowdy also noted that the school division has switched to saving paper by going to a paperless system with its paychecks.

“We don't know how much that will save in the future,” he said. “Each member of our staff and faculty is able to go online and view their W2 and their pay stub from the beginning of the year to the end of the year…”

According to Dowdy, he is also against “directed instruction.”

“I was against that from the beginning,” he said. “I am also against, and continue not to be a fan of, Cortez math and history. In the Middle School, we are still doing that but in the High School we've gone back to a more classroom oriented setting and are moving towards teaching our kids in a more traditional basis and the kids seem to like it and are doing well and our teachers seem to like it-that is another thing that I was for in the beginning.”

Dowdy closed by saying, “I have a heart for this community and school system…”

“We still continue to be a positive influence in Cumberland just because we've come up on hard economic times we are not the only one…,” he said.

There are no candidates on the ballot for Districts Three and Four for the School Board-that decision on election day will be decided by a write-in vote.

The District Five candidate on the ballot, Christine C. Ross, was unable to attend the forum. Rev. Jones read the letter.

In the letter Ms. Ross said that she was out of the Commonwealth due to a “prior commitment related to her work at Hampden-Sydney College…”

What Issue Do You See As Most Pressing In The School System And How Do You Plan To Address It?

District One

Ms. Sanderson was the first to respond.

“…The state department sends us down mandates to help our students and they are unfunded,” she said about the financial state of the school division. “We have an economy that is a struggle for us and we have state legislatures sending us information that is allowing us and making us need to be even more creative than we have been.”

Ms. Sanderson assured the citizens, “We will continue to work diligently on this task.”

Grant funding, she added, is another way to work towards improving the financial situation.

“In terms of how we are going to partnership,” she said. “This is a partnership with the County and with the state. The best thing we can all do is talk with our state legislatures. They can't keep sending us mandates that aren't funded…We are going to have to be even more creative than we've been. We've worked with the County government to combine every single thing that I think we can think of at this point…We are not a county where it's the Board of Supervisors and the School Board. We are a county where we are all in this together.”

District Two

Dowdy responded to the same questions.

“Money is the biggest issue that I foresee,” he said. “We are as lean as we can possibly be right now with people wearing many hats. We need funding and where do you get it in the times we live in right now? We need to continue to write letters. I've spoken with the Governor personally. I've spoken with Robert Hurt personally and as I've said before people don't want to hear money in conversations at the moment…”

According to Dowdy's goal, he said he would work with the current administrations to “push the school system forward and look for inventive ways to keep the curriculums we have.”

“That's what I intend to do,” he said.

What Efforts Will You Make To Increase The Post High School Opportunities Such As College, Trade School, and Employment For Our Students?

District One

Ms. Sanderson responded that she has assisted with doing a better job tracking students once they have graduated from Cumberland High School.

“We need to see the research basis for are they going to college, are they going to trade school, or are they going to right in the workforce?” she advised about an advancement in the process. “…Our administration has done a fabulous job with this last class…”

Ms. Sanderson also noted, “At the graduation time, when those students are looking into 'where do I go in life from here'…We need to look at what and how our guidance department can look for funding in terms of no matter what area of post secondary education they go in.”

District Two

Dowdy later responded and said that internships would be one of his goals.

“If there was an opportunity for us as far as promoting an internship…,” he said. “Also, with our Sheriff's Department and fire departments and working that towards a type of credit to at least get them interested in a field of study so they can pursue and it may turn into a type of employment for them as far as trade school…”

“Internships might be the way to go and it would get the community involved with working with our students,” he responded. “It would give them more of a commitment to their place in the community and know that they are a contributing part of the community if they are asked to participate in that facet.”

Board of Supervisors

District One

Cumberland Board of Supervisors District One candidate, W.F. “Bill” Osl Jr., was the first to introduce himself to the citizens. He is unopposed on the ballot for reelection to the Board.

“Financial times have been difficult,” he said. “I felt like we were on a good roll for quite a period of years and with the recession hitting…it's really hurt us in Cumberland County and it's slowed down some of the initiatives we had and some of the progress that we want to place.”

Osl noted that the financial issues are “the most difficult things” the Board of Supervisors face at this time.

“It really hurt us in Cumberland County,” he said. “An example of that would be just in the construction industry. We do about 30 percent and we are down 70 percent than where we were three years ago. That's jobs. That's revenue in the county. That's loss. And it just makes it very difficult and that's just one facet in Cumberland County.”

According to Osl, he stands for, “I can't wait to get this economy growing again and I look forward to continuing to work with our partners at the federal level, who I've met with; at the state level, who I've met with to encourage them to grow this economy… We need growth in the economy. It will take care of all the other issues and it will help us at the local level…”

District Two

Next came the three candidates that are running for the District Two seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Clifton C. “Cliff” White was the first to speak.

He said that he has been in Cumberland since 1970 when his family moved here from Maryland and graduated from Cumberland High School in 1980. White and his wife, Kim, have three children, he said to the citizens.

“I'm a business owner here in the community,” he said. “I own Echo Enterprises…I'm trying to grow my business here in Cumberland and I also have partnership in the Patriot Ridge shopping center development which is moving along as fast as we can make it move along due to the bureaucracy of the federal government.”

White also noted that he has 31 years of service and is still serving as a Sergeant Major in the Army National Guard.

White also previously served on the Board of Supervisors from 2003 until 2007, he said.

“During that time we tackled some difficult issues that came upon us,” he said. “The most pressing and largest one was the school, the Middle/High School, situation. When you have a school that has been condemned by the state and you can't use a big portion of your middle school and the infrastructure needs of the community were addressed. We took it on the chin and had to go out and find a way to pay for that $32 million project. During that tenure, I was very instrumental in helping our Sheriff's Department gain the building they now have and getting the equipment and the manpower to go 24/7 operation. Putting our Sheriff's Department as both one of the best in the area in training, manning, and in their facilities…”

White went on to explain to the citizens, that he “voted no to every tax rate that was published.”

“The two issues that we need to look at are the manner in which our economic developer is working towards getting new businesses into this community and having the infrastructure there to have the locations there to put a business into the community and then looking at the zoning requirements that are there for different businesses to come in.”

Next to address the citizens was Lloyd Banks Jr.

He explained that he moved to Cumberland about four years ago with his family and is an accountant and pastor. He also spent 20 years serving the United States in the Coast Guard, he said. He is currently employed at the University of Virginia.

“Locally, I believe we are in a hardship,” he said. “As most of the candidates this afternoon have mentioned, we do have a financial crisis. We do have considerable debt. The County has went into substantial debt and I understand many things are important but anytime we go into debt, that's higher taxes on our residents. I'm not here to judge which things should have been acquired and which things shouldn't. I really want all of us to look forward not backwards. I really don't believe that's necessary or the place we should go.”

According to Banks, he said he believes, “the county is a step behind.”

“The county doesn't have any jobs. It doesn't have any services and our neighbors do and that's just a simple reality,” he continued.

“What I would like to bring to the Board of Supervisors is a different perspective as to how to move forward,” he said. “A perspective that includes experience from the federal level…at the state level and bring some outside experience into the county and try to move us forward and keep us competitive with our neighbors. We can't be a poor county following behind other more successful counties…”

Banks described that his position for the county is, “we have to live within our means.”

“…We have to look at where we want to be and how to get there,” he said.

“The only thing I challenge our Board to do as we go forward is to live within our means because every decision that we make affects people in our county,” he said. “…People who are seniors and who are on a fixed income can't continue to face higher taxes year after year after year after year and so we have to get beyond the attitude of what we tried to do to the attitude of what we did do.”

Candidate Timothy M. “Tim” Kennell was the next to address the citizens. He is running for reelection to the Board of Supervisors.

Kennell noted services that have been implemented since he took office on January 1, 2008.

He said a DMV Select was opened in the Commissioner of Revenue's Office.

“We have 24/7 Sheriff's protection. We have an award-winning radio communications system that ties all emergency systems together. We have shared IT, maintenance, and finance departments within our school systems. These are services that are a big plus for our citizens. All in all a lot of service for reducing our budget $4 million and a County debt by $643,000 in just the last two years,” said Kennell.

Kennell noted that on his time on the Board he has served as Chairman for a year and during this time the Cobbs Creek Reservoir project was sealed with Henrico County.

“I'm proud of Cumberland when I attend meetings outside of our county and the arrogance has subsided…,” he said. “I do not and will not to the best of my ability allow the past to return to our County government again. I will continue to scrutinize every tax dollar spent. That's our money and I will continue to source new business opportunities and revenue for our county. I'll continue to reduce our County debt with prudent spending and realize our dreams only as we can afford them not new taxation. I'll maintain and continue to maintain open communications within our government in Cumberland. And I'll continue to listen to my neighbors within and outside of District Two and offer their suggestions to the County. And I'll remain friends with our neighboring counties so that we may use regional cooperation to help solve each others problems and I'll continue to use good ole' common business sense to lead our county forward…”

District Three

District Three candidate W. Kevin Ingle was next to speak in the forum. He is running against current Board of Supervisor Van H. Petty.

“I'm a native of Cumberland. I've been here all my life. I had the opportunity to go through the school system from beginning to end and at the end of that I was able to become a successful business man here in Cumberland County,” he said.

He has been running and working in his family business for 33 years and has been a member of the Cumberland Volunteer Fire Department for 27 years, he said.

“I'm just here after something more,” he said. “What I mean by something more is that I want Cumberland County to be more attractive, more desirable. More attractive to outside business-good business-that could come in and share wealth in our county…”

Petty was next. He is running for reelection to the Board for District Three.

“I believe together we can make a better Cumberland,” said Petty about why he is running for reelection. “I believe that with my experience and leadership, Cumberland will continue to move forward if I am reelected.”

Petty has served eight years on the Board and he noted several of the Board's accomplishments during that time.

“We have eight years of balanced budgets,” he said. “Some concerns that I hope to address if elected is to continue to work to attract business to Cumberland County. One of the things that I hear while campaigning is that we need a grocery store. So that's going to be one of my priorities-is that we try to get a way to work to get a grocery store in Cumberland County. I'll continue to work to provide affordable housing in Cumberland County. I'll work too to extend high-speed Internet service in Cumberland County…to work with the youth and seniors to promote activities for both. I believe in planned development and I'll work to continue to improve the County government and expand our agricultural base and continue citizens' involvement.”

District Four

District Four candidate David E. Meinhard was unable to attend the forum due to being out of the state but sent his son to read his written statement.

According to a portion of his provided statement Meinhard stated, “I pledge, if elected to the Board of Supervisors, I will work with County staff and other Board of Supervisors to develop policies to attract businesses and industries in the county and create local and non-government jobs. We need to attract businesses in this county that establish a larger tax base…”

“Bringing in businesses and industry into the county is a win-win situation for the county,” he provided. “It will increase jobs, increase revenue without taxing us…”

Bill R. Bruce was next to speak during the forum. He is also running for the District Four seat on the Board of Supervisors.

“I think the present candidates show you what they've done,” he said. “This county is $50 million in debt…If I own a car, I'm not just in debt for this year. I am in debt for the value of the car…We are still paying on this school, this building. We are paying on projects that have been in place…We are paying on those. We can't keep writing checks and say that the taxpayers, the waterline, the people that get that service will pay for that. All of Cumberland County is paying for that. It is outrageous to say that a grant will pay for that. Where does that grant money come from? What if that grant money wasn't there? It could go to things.”

Bruce also asked, “Why does everybody have an assistant?”

“There is an assistant for everyone and a secretary to the assistant. I can't even park around the Courthouse. I pay their salary. You pay their salary. Why can't they park in the parking lot and we get to park around the Courthouse? Just simple things but yet they are monetary things,” he said.

According to Bruce's proposal he said, “I propose we get a water project in Cumberland. We are on the Appomattox River and on the James River… If you notice any other county if they have a water system they have growth… That's why Cumberland County doesn't have growth. That's why nobody wants to come to Cumberland. There's no water for us to give to them.”

Elbert R. Womack later addressed the citizens. He is seeking reelection to the District Four seat on the Board of Supervisors. He's been serving on the Board for almost 12 years.

“We are preparing Cumberland for the future,” he said. “The extension of the waterline to the old Luther P. Jackson school… We now have an area zoned for the shopping center along this waterline extension and I'm working hard to get a grocery store in this county.”

According to Womack, he has served as the Chairman of the Piedmont Regional Jail Board for the last four years and the jail has saved Cumberland taxpayers, specifically, $261,266.22 last year by using outside sources to offset the cost of running the jail.

“I will continue to seek structured growth while controlling the tax burden on the citizens,” he added. “In my 12 years on the Board I have never voted against a business that wanted to locate in this county. I shall not support another mandate from the state or the federal government that the dollars to fund that mandate don't come along with it.”

Womack then detailed two main projects in Cumberland and the revenue that has been brought into Cumberland. Those he detailed were the Cobbs Creek Reservoir Project and the continued Host Agreement payments from the Republic Services landfill.

“I will work hard along with our County development office to get businesses located in our new business park on Poorhouse Road…,” he said. “I pledge to you, if reelected, that I will give 100 percent. I want to see Cumberland move forward. Some people have a negative outlook on everything and they show it when they attend Board meetings. I look forward to the future…and I look forward to serving you for the next four years.”

District Five

Finally, the District Five candidate, Parker Wheeler, introduced himself to the citizens.

“I've seen Cumberland County grow and I've seen Cumberland County not grow,” he began. “I've been on the Planning Commission for 16 years so I have an idea of what Cumberland needs to grow and to grow efficiently and to grow into a County that one day it will become.”

“I've been very pro-business,” he said. “Sometimes some people accused me of being too pro-business but I think what Cumberland County needs is more business. How do we get more business? We need to get more infrastructures. How do we get more infrastructure? We need to get more funds. We have to get more monies. We have to work together and work with what we have to make it work for the citizens of Cumberland County.”

Wheeler also noted that all of the Supervisors on the Board must work together to make decisions “based on what we have and what we can do with it.”

“If you do that, you make a logical decision. A decision that will benefit Cumberland County and you'll be doing a job that the people put you there to do,” he said. “I don't believe you should vote on something to spite another supervisor. I don't believe you should make a vote on something to put a feather in your hat. I think you should make a vote on something strictly for the citizens of Cumberland County and to better Cumberland County.”

Wheeler also detailed several of the items that he has worked through while on the Planning Commission for the last 16 years. One he discussed included the County's new subdivision ordinance.

“I'm fairly new at this game of, I guess, politics, but the only thing I will say is that if elected I will absolutely do the best I can do make Cumberland County grow efficiently and in an orderly manner and take care of the citizens of Cumberland County and to make sure the citizens of Cumberland County are treated right,” he added.

What Is The Greatest Challenge Facing Our County Today And How Do You Plan To Meet That Challenge?

District One

Osl started off the question portion of the forum and responded, “Fortunately, I look forward to getting, hopefully, getting away from some of the mandates that come down on us…There are some functions that we still do that aren't mandated but there is an awful lot that we do in those organizations (Constitutional Officers) that we are mandated to do by the state or the federal government.”

Capital for new business was also a topic noted by Osl.

“Finding financial in a normal economy is difficult for a start-up business,” he suggested about the Board's continuing focus. “Finding financing now in this economy for a start-up business is close to impossible. It's extremely difficult to find the capital to get new businesses to come or to get businesses to expand and grow in Cumberland County.”

Osl also said, “We need to reduce our taxes and the only way it will come about…is to have more businesses coming in.”

District Two

White was next to answer the same question and said, “I hate to be the dead horse but we all understand the financial situation that is facing our citizens and our elected officials and the local, state, and federal government where we stand with our economy.”

He then pointed out that business owners pay the taxes that are asked of them but that the County “needs to find a way to lessen the burden of taxes on their real and personal properties in order to allow them to have more money in their pockets to grow our economy,” he said.

“We also have to understand that there are things that come along like the school and the water system,” he said. “Those things that become a necessity for the localities to address at some point and time…We all understand that that debt was taken on with a very long thought process and understanding that we needed a way to pay for it. The manner that we have to pay for it today is the tax increase that was voted on two years ago by the Board of Supervisors because the economy did not allow the business growth that was planned at the time to support that particular debt service.”

White also noted that the school system is the largest employer in Cumberland.

“That's true in most localities. You will find that to be true everywhere. The City of Richmond, Chesterfield or anywhere else, it's a true statement. You have to take it into context when somebody says that the local school system is the largest employer. It's the same everywhere and rightfully so…,” he said.

Banks was next to address the citizens and answer the question posed.

“I would like to share this,” he said. “From what I hear people talking about is 'well I hope this happens' or 'we hope things get better.' You know I didn't grow up like that. I'm a military officer and if I had a goal and I needed to get it, it got done and nobody accepted that 'I hope things get better.'”

“We have to be aggressive as a County and we have to look at our expenses,” he said. “You know when people sit here and say 'well, we'd like things to get better' but you pay a county attorney a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year that's difficult for me to swallow. It's difficult for me to swallow when someone says, 'well, this is what I'd like to do' after they've already been here for four years. We can't sit back as residents of Cumberland County and wait for things to get better.”

“My challenge for this county is to move forward,” he continued. “I listened to some of the accomplishments…I congratulate my two-year old or my three-year old when they are able to spell their first word but if we look at all we have in this county is a new school, and a new sheriff's office. Look around, the counties around us have had new schools and sheriff's offices for decades. Is that anything for us to be proud of? And what I hope is that the residents of Cumberland County will say that they are tired of just waiting for something to happen. We need aggressive leadership. We need people who are going to manage this county who are going to be aggressive.”

Banks also said that, “he's disappointed.

“We're not doing all we can when we pay people high salaries when the average income is much less than that.”

Kennell followed and answered the question.

“I think the biggest challenge facing Cumberland County is an attitude,” he said. “And it's an attitude that somehow some members are forgetting that it's okay to be a rural community. Cumberland County is not Chesterfield County… But what we do have is a budget that is a whole lot smaller than they do…”

He noted that although Cumberland lost “at a lower rate” during the economic downfall “it's stabilized” at the moment and money has been put back in its “rainy day fund.”

According to Kennell, “Moving forward, let's go with 'look for the business, be pro-business,' but we have to support the businesses that we have in our town today first.”

District Three

The candidates from District Three were next and Petty was the first to answer the question.

“When the recession hit just about all of our economic growth basically stopped,” said Petty.

He later said about Cumberland's current financial status, “We've gotten our head above water. I mean we can't take no hurricane but we've gotten our heads above water and things are beginning to look at a better future. If we want to move forward we've got to continue to invest in the infrastructure. Businesses aren't going to come to your county if you don't have the water, the sewage, good schools, and all the things businesses need because you are competing with other localities and there are fewer businesses now so the competition is a lot fiercer.”

Petty also detailed how Cumberland is in the process of extending the current waterline down Route 60 to the Hillcrest area and how the “sole purpose of the landfill” was to secure a funding source for the needed school construction project.

“But in moving forward I would like to see us move forward and continue to get businesses but I know it's going to be a challenge because of the environment we are in,” he said. “You've got to be realistic. But we plan to move forward as we have in the past…Business expansion is one of the best ways to create jobs in your community. It's with the businesses that you have.”

Ingle followed next and responded to the question.

“There has to be an outreach, you have to find these businesses,” he said. “We have to let them know that Cumberland County is ready and willing to accept them. Now, a lot of these businesses that have applied in the last few months or the last few years have run into a brick wall because of additional requirements after the fact of purchasing or requesting permits. We have to go ahead and open our arms up and accept them. Not so as we are going to have to take whatever we can get but we are going to have a standard… But we are going to have to accept them without pushing them away because right now there is a whole lot of controversy going on over some businesses that are trying to be here and it's taking us and putting us on the front page of the newspapers and telling other businesses that might be interested in coming to Cumberland County that 'we don't want you.'”

As far as representation as a supervisor once elected, Ingle noted that he believes “you go by the consensus of the district that you are with.”

“Give them the equal opportunity to give you information to let you know how they want you to vote and you vote for your district,” said Ingle. “We are not all here, all five board members, to be able to sit here and let's all get together and we'll get our heads together and we're going to vote what's right for Cumberland County-you vote for your district. If you try to make a unanimous vote and you leave your people behind that put you into office that's where we fall short.”

District Four

Bruce followed next and also responded to the same question.

Bruce said, “The greatest challenge is November 8 and electing the same type of candidate.”

“Look at history and look at the current Board members,” he said. “And you wonder why there is no growth. You wonder why there is no business… You want to know the biggest problem? You want to know the biggest solution? Stop voting the same way… I'm sorry that there isn't more people here and I feel like it's fallen on deaf ears. I really want growth.”

According to Bruce's comments, “Change starts on November 8.”

Womack then responded that he was not going to take up a lot of time and said, “I'm not sitting back on my haunches and doing nothing. As we stand here today we are in the process of getting the waterline to Hillcrest, which will create growth.”

He later added, “You have to have good schools, you have to have water, and you have to have sewer and you have to have a place for them to locate and you have to be aggressive.”

District Five

Wheeler was the last candidate to answer.

He said, “Well, I think the greatest challenge for Cumberland County is to keep Cumberland County on track to keep us moving forward.”

Wheeler continued by describing that the county “needs to figure out a way to have more infrastructure.”

“Without any infrastructure you can't get any business,” he said. “You can't get anything but a small 'mom and pop' business most of the time. You need some business in the county and you need to have the school to produce the students… They will be able to come up through the ranks and be able to work for us and grow and prosper in Cumberland County. With all of that, if you have that, you grow and prosper in the county.”