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Here's the message from Buncombe County Board of Commissioners chair David Gantt:
Campaign Thank You & Buncombe County Budget 2012-2013
A Personal Message From David
Thank you for the support and encouragement I received in the May 6, 2012 primary. We were able to receive a good majority of votes cast in the Democratic Party primary and will now face my General Election opponent in the November 6, 2012 election. I appreciate your support of the message and direction our County Commission has been moving. I hope to continue supporting our core services of
Education- Proper funding is critical in view of the budget cuts from other entities. We must make sure our students get the best education possible so they can fill good paying jobs of the future. Our teachers must be properly compensated for the key role they have in educating our children
Emergency Services/Law Enforcement- We have to provide the first line responders with proper equipment, training, and compensation. The new Public Safety training center located at the old landfill will help us train these employees in house with the skills they need to do their jobs.
Human Services- In these tough economic times, we must maintain the safety net for those in dire financial status. We must also try and provide an affordable housing option for residents who want to buy homes in our community.
Job creation- While notable successes on new businesses and job opportunities have developed thanks to strategic economic incentives, we have to work even harder to continue finding new jobs for everyone who wants to work in Buncombe County.
I believe that we can achieve these goals by continuing to watch our budget and work hard to get more with less. Buncombe County has not raised our tax rate for over 16 years. We have fewer employees serving our County than we did 10 years ago. We are provided more service at a lower cost by partnering with groups like Western NC Community Health services (3,000 new patients served primary health needs), Economic Development Coalition (Over 2,000 new jobs in last 2 years, $400 million in tax base improvements), Humane Society and AB Tech (new animal control complex with student training opportunities), Mountain Housing Opportunities (affordable housing projects). We are reducing energy dependence with our Bioreactor and Gas to Energy generator at the new landfill, solar panels on all appropriate County buildings, LEED certified Courthouse, and other energy saving measures. I believe we can continue this direction while undertaking much needed capital improvements (Renovate old and build new courthouse, renovate libraries, County buildings for space and energy efficiency) with the proper leadership. I hope you can support me in my fall campaign to make this happen.
Summary of the 5/15 BCC Meeting
The May 15th Buncombe County Commission meeting was largely focused on the county budget. In this meeting recap, David gives his thoughts about that initial budget presentation and the county's current fiscal health. He also explains the next steps in the budgetary process. In addition, David summarizes other subjects addressed at the meeting, including the possibility of an affordable housing development for Eagle Street, WastePro's request for a rate increase, and a report given by the Buncombe County Aging Consortium.