A look at incumbent Pamela Baldwin's campaign for Pittsboro Commissioner

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Pamela Baldwin and Michael Fiocco, long-time members of Pittsboro’s Board of Commissioners, are seeking re-election as commissioners — but they’re joined on November’s ballot by political newcomer James Vose, a 20-year county resident who’s lived in Pittsboro the last two years.

The top two vote-getters among the three will earn four-year seats on the board.

Here’s a closer look at Baldwin's campaign.

 

Full name: Pamela Baldwin

Date/place of birth: 11/1957, Pittsboro, NC Chatham County, North Carolina

Current occupation: Counselor

Family: Daughter, Brandy, Bradley Sr. Grandsons, Bradley Jr. 6 years old, Branden 4 years old.

Party affiliation: Democrat

Current and previous elected offices held or sought & terms of service: Pittsboro Town Commissioner, Since 2005

 

Why are you seeking this office?

To continue and complete the work on behalf of the Town of Pittsboro and its citizens in order that Pittsboro is a place to thrive and excel for all its citizens and achieve it by recruitment of good jobs, workforce and affordable, seeking a remedy to the drinking water concerns. Also to enhance and achieve community interaction among each other.

What is your understanding of the responsibilities of the office you seek, and in one sentence, why do you believe you’re qualified to fill that role?

 The establishment and review of Town Policy/ Ordinances, the governing body for the Town, hiring of the Town Manager, Service to the Town and to the public while maintaining and adhering to State and Federal Laws. I have the acquired knowledge and expertise to continue and fill this role.

One of the most important decisions that elected officials make is on the annual budget, which includes spending and tax rates. Do you have a budgeting philosophy? What’s more important to you, spending more to allocate resources to needed programs or cutting spending and keeping the tax rate low?

 This is not a so simple answer of one over the other. Anytime there are budget discussions, it is imperative to keep both issues in mind and examine not only these issues but other issues and impacts as well. It is necessary to allocate funds to programs and departments but to simultaneously keep in mind the tax rate and the effect it has on citizens. Cutting spending is also part of the review process and certainly an option if necessary.

The commissioners’ main responsibility is to place votes on issues crucial to the town. What would be your philosophy on choosing whether or not to vote for an item? Do you have an example of a similar decision in the past?

 Review, research, and weigh the issue, listen to various viewpoints, receive recommendations/input from the town manage and staff, review recommendations from advisory boards and committees and determine the course of action which is best for the Town and the citizens and then make an informed decision.

Pittsboro’s water contamination is one of the most critical issues facing the town’s elected officials and staff. Regular water pollution affecting people’s health and costing the town more money than it would spend under different circumstances. How will you find the balance between prioritizing residents’ health, using town resources responsibly and giving appropriate attention to other important initiatives?

This is occurring now. Of course the citizen’s health is the main priority. And the Town Board, Town Manager and Staff continue to seek funding sources and other solutions and innovative ways to handle this situation while at the same time handling other important issues. Also, with caution weigh the other projects/initiatives and upon review determine the next steps, which maybe postponing other projects to a later date.

Chatham Park plans to introduce 50,000+ residents to Pittsboro (which is now about 4,500) over coming decades. Overseeing such development is one of the board’s most frequent tasks. The topic comes with some conflict, especially between the pro-development community and environmentalists. What is your philosophy with respect to development and growth and the rapid change that is coming to Pittsboro?

 Planned responsible growth and careful planning has always been the means to handle prospective rapid growth. Plans must be well thought out with as little effect on the environment as possible. It is imperative to have input from the public regarding planning as well as discussions and negotiations with the developers.

Give us two goals that are specific, measurable and attainable you would have if elected.

Complete the Unified Development Agreement. Revise the Land Use Plan.

What do you think are Pittsboro’s three best features?

 Pittsboro has traditionally been the type of friendly place where we greet each other with a hello, nod, wave and /or smile regardless of whether you know that person or not, Relatively peaceful and calm- stroll downtown and enjoy the outside, good, down home restaurants.

What are three areas where Pittsboro can improve?

 Workforce/affordable housing, cultural center, children and youth summer/ winter fun and sport activities.

If you are not elected, what steps will you take to serve Pittsboro?

 Seek or continue as a member of various advisory committees. Volunteer at the new charter school for Boys and locate mentors. Research increased educational opportunities. Internships. Partner with local community college to establish and identify future opportunities to succeed.

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