Meet Pittsboro Commissioner candidate James Vose

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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 close look at Vose's campaign.

Full name: William James Vose Jr.

Date/place of birth: Rochester, New Hampshire

Current occupation: Small Business Owner of Vose Natural Stone; we are a granite, marble and engineered stone countertop company.

Campaign website/social media: www.GoVose.info

Family (names & ages, as of Election Day, of immediate family members): son William, 23; son Waylon, 13.

Party affiliation: Independent

Current and previous elected offices held or sought & terms of service: N/A

Campaign manager: Dr. Jennifer Platt

Custodian of Funds: Linda Batley

Why are you seeking this office?

I’m running for Town Commissioner because I was encouraged to. And I’m now at a place in my life where I can devote the effort truly needed to do this job well. After discussing it with my sons, we decided that now was the ideal time to step up and support this community, engage with neighbors, and have a positive influence in the growth that is already underway. I humbly ask for your support and your vote.

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?

 As a representative of the voters of Pittsboro, it will be my job to understand their concerns and to voice them at town meetings. My 45 years of life experience that include running a successful small business, serving in the US Army, and founding an impactful nonprofit organization operating on two continents are skills where I’ve learned the compassion & the discipline that will serve the citizens of Pittsboro well.

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?

 I believe that growth should pay for itself. My budgetary philosophy would be to strive for sensible spending coupled with the idea that Pittsboro’s municipal cost increases are due to the increases in development. Beyond that, I would look to the voters.

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?

 I will listen to the citizens’ views and bring them to the town board. All views. My skills & discipline from the Army, founding the non-profit, starting a small business with a successful long run, raising two boys, being involved in my community….. these give me the ability to listen, and make a sound decision based on facts, science, and the needs & health of the community.

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?

I will work with my fellow Board members and the Town staff to explore ways to disincentivized upstream dischargers - more to come on that.

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?

I will listen to the citizens’ views regarding the development and bring them to the town board. All views. My skills & discipline from the Army, founding the non-profit, starting a small business with a successful long run, raising two boys, being involved in my community…..all these give me the ability to listen, and make a sound decision based on facts, science, and the needs & wellbeing of the community.

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

Regarding development: Encourage ordinances and zoning practices that help ensure Pittsboro retains its ‘destination economy’ future & character - where people from the region and beyond will want to visit, spend their dollars on local businesses. We will track this through local business surveys, special event attendance, sales tax revenues, and other tracking tools. Nurture a downtown environment & throughout the town that draws both visitors and locals; increase the number of small businesses annually by 10% that will enhance the town’s character; not those that will diminish it.

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

 Our flavor - the cultural and creative initiatives (such as the beautiful murals around town) that bring 21st century skills and energy. Our diverse population - nurturing and inclusiveness of different backgrounds; the blend of old and new - the nostalgic old downtown buildings and beautiful new parks [And as a close 4th - Access to locally-grown foods through farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture].

What are three areas where Pittsboro can improve?

 1. Improved water quality and capacities for our assured & expansive growth. We should also hold the upstream industrial dischargers accountable so that the taxpayers don’t bear the burden of paying for safe drinking water. 2. Accountability and communications with the Town’s citizens about ongoing and urgent matters. 3. Soliciting engagement and feedback from the voters so the Commissioners can represent and address local concerns

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

 I will apply to serve on a local Board, whether a Town or nonprofit. I am also interested in working with the citizens of Firetower Road and other areas that were redlined out to pull them back into the Town’s limits if so desired.

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