Last updated: April 22. 2014 8:27PM - 1409 Views
By Kitsey E. Burns kburns@civitasmedia.com



Frank Zachary
Frank Zachary
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Three seats are open for the upcoming term on the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners. Incumbents Gilbert Hemric, Marion Welborn and Frank Zachary are all running for re-election in the primary race. All three are on the Republican ballot. Also joining the primary race is newcomer Bryan Wyatt, also running on the Republican ballot. There are no democrats running.


Each candidate was asked a series of questions regarding themselves and their run for county commissioner.


Gilbert Hemric


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public to know about yourself or your family?


A: “I am a lifetime Republican, farmer and resident of Yadkin County. My farm in Hamptonville has been in the family for more than 100 years. I served on numerous other county committees prior to being elected as a county commissioner.


Q: How long have you served as a county commissioner?


A: “Almost 4 years since December 2010.”


Q: Why did you initially run for county commissioner and why do you think this position is important to the success of Yadkin County?


A: “I believe that taxpayers deserve common sense strategy, honesty and a conservative approach to spending their tax dollars while improving and expanding services, jobs and infrastructure.”


Q: What would you consider the biggest accomplishment of the board of commissioners during your prior term(s)?


A: “Building the new Detention Center (County Jail) downtown with a capacity for 96 inmates. Lowering the county tax rate twice: first from .74 to .69 per thousand; again from .69 to .679. Refinanced all the outstanding county loans for a savings of $1,300,000 over the life of the loans. That was one of the factors that allowed us to cut $5,200,000 from the county budget over 3 years without reducing services.”


Q: What do you think are the key issues currently for Yadkin County and how do you plan to address those in the upcoming term?


A: “Build infrastructure to attract new business and industry to provide new jobs and to increase our tax base. Continue to maintain, improve and expand community services, EMS, fire, law enforcement and rescue. Review the tax rate frequently to make sure we are prepared for emergencies and maintain or add new services needed by our citizens.”


Q: What county projects, improvements etc. do you hope to accomplish if reelected to serve as a County Commissioner?


A: “Build new classroom space on the Yadkin site of Surry Community College which will expand the Early College opportunities for Yadkin County High School students. Also complete a new agriculture building connected to the Yadkin site of Surry Community College to provide offices and a meeting space to accommodate 300 people which is not available anywhere in the county now. Finish the infrastructure project for a water system for the town of East Bend. Add water and sewer to other areas in the county as feasible. Continue to work with the NC Department of Transportation to improve some major roads in the county to attract new business and industry. Expand our county park system to offer additional picnic areas, fishing and other outdoor sports at the 5 D-Dam project. Start up funds have already been awarded for this project.”


Q: How do you feel about the current county tax rate and if reelected would seek to make any changes?


A: “We lowered the rate twice in 3 years from .74 to .679; I will vote to lower it again as soon as possible by at least .01. Continue to be vigilant in the future to lower taxes, if possible, without reducing services or hindering progress.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the polls for the primary election on May 6, what would it be?


A: “VOTE. It’s your privilege. Know and trust your candidates. Vote for me on May 6; I will work for you.”


Marion G. Welborn


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public to know about yourself or your family?


A: “I was born on Dec. 23, 1935. While growing up on a chicken and cattle farm in the Hamptonville area, I attended West Yadkin School. I joined the United States Air Force and completed Jet Fighter Mechanic School in Amarillo, TX. A proud veteran of the Korean War, I married Jewell Wilkins and will soon be married for 56 years. We have three children, eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


“I began my career of real estate developing and building in the late 50’s and also worked as a fixer at Hanes Hosiery where I returned in 1970. A retired beef cattle farmer in Boonville, I now spend most of my time investing in real estate. My wife and I thoroughly enjoy attending our grandchildren’s numerous school and sports activities.


“I have been active in many areas of the community. I have served on the Yadkin County Land Use Committee, the Planning and Zoning Board as well as the Equalization and Review Board of Yadkin County. I am currently serving on the YVEDDI Board and the Yadkin Fire Chiefs Association Board. I am a member of the Yadkin County Cattlemen’s Association as well as Deep Creek Friends Church where I have served on various committees.”


Q: How long have you served as a county commissioner?


A: “I have enthusiastically served on the County Commissioners Board for almost four years now.”


Q: Why did you initially run for county commissioner and why do you think this position is important to the success of Yadkin County?


A: “After getting several calls from prominent citizens of the county urging me to run because of my conservative views and the desire to have the jail built in downtown Yadkinville, I began to think seriously about actually running for County Commissioner. Another reason I ran was my concern towards the fact that so many delinquent property taxes had not been paid and was in no way being made to pay. Finally, I decided to run because I was confident that the property tax rate could be cut, saving Yadkin County citizens money. I knew that this could only be achieved through smart budget cuts and conservative spending as well as going after the delinquent taxpayers. I think that I, along with the other dedicated, hard working men on the present board, have kept the interest of citizens of Yadkin County the priority in our decision-making. We all thoroughly research and investigate every issue that is brought to the board and then make the decision that we think is best for Yadkin County.”


Q: What would you consider the biggest accomplishment of the board of commissioners during your prior term(s)?


A: “I think that we, the present Board of Commissioners, have had many great accomplishments over the past four years. I feel that one of the greatest accomplishments, in this time of rising tax rates, was lowering the property tax rate for Yadkin County 6.1 cents, saving property owners thousands of dollars. Another beneficial accomplishment was achieving a 99 percent collection rate on delinquent property taxes owed from the years prior to 2010. This has helped to bring in much needed revenue for the county to operate. Another accomplishment that I have been a part of was getting the new jail built in downtown Yadkinville. The refinancing of the 5D flood and erosion damn project, the middle schools and the jail has saved the county $1.3 million. This was a major accomplishment that the board along with a dedicated staff was able to achieve. Another accomplishment which is still in the early phases, is the process of hooking up to water from Forsyth County to East Bend, which is in desperate need of good water. We are in the process of expanding the 5D dam project by having piers, boat docks and bathrooms built as well as walking trails and boating accessibility. These amenities should be finished by the end of the summer so that families of Yadkin County can relax and enjoy an afternoon right here in their own county. The present Board of Commissioners has received many gracious and appreciative comments concerning the Yadkin County annual Report. This is the annual publication that every Yadkin County household receives educating and informing them of what’s going on in the county as well as important contact numbers, the budget breakdown, schools, etc.”


Q: What do you think are the key issues currently for Yadkin County and how do you plan to address those in the upcoming term?


A: “One of the key issues facing the county is the need for more industry and business within the county. This is a slow and difficult process but we are constantly keeping our attention focused on this issue. Anther key issue facing the county is the tax rate. Even though we’ve already cut the tax rate twice, I would love to see us save the county enough money so that we may lower it even more. One of the most important, yet difficult, issues facing the county is the rapid growth of easy accessibility of drugs in the schools. My desire would be for the Commissioners, school board and Sheriff’s office to work together and try to at least slow down this threat to our children, the future of Yadkin County. “


Q: What county projects, improvements etc. do you hope to accomplish if reelected to serve as a County Commissioner?


A: “If elected I still have accomplishments that I would like to see happen. One of these would be the expansion of Surry Community College and the agriculture building. Other accomplishments include the sewer being run to West Yadkin School and Brooks Crossroads, water run to Forbush Elementary, Middle and High Schools as well as to Fall Creek School and finally expanding the 5D dam park project with more walking trails and horse trails. It is my desire to have more industry and business here in the county, which is one reason I’m enthusiastic over the prospect of a new urgent care hospital in Yadkinville.”


Q: How do you feel about the current county tax rate and if reelected would seek to make any changes?


A: “I, along with every other county citizen, would like to see lower taxes. It is my hope and desire that, if elected, I and the other board members will be able to save the county enough money and lower property taxes again.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the polls for the primary election on May 6, what would it be?


A: “I’ve enjoyed serving Yadkin County as your County Commissioner. I take great pride in the accomplishments that we’ve had and hope to have many more. Working with such a dedicated, hard-working and intelligent group of individuals has made the past four years very enjoyable and rewarding. We, as a group, have worked really well together and I feel that is one reason that we’ve had so many accomplishments that have and will continue to benefit all residents of Yadkin County. I would love to have another opportunity to continue the progress that we are making in the county. Therefore, I would appreciate your vote on May 6 in order to continue serving as one of your Yadkin County Commissioners.”


Frank Zachary


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public know about yourself or your family?


A: “I was born and raised in Yadkinville, Yadkin County, North Carolina. I graduated from Forbush High School in 1969. I married Charlene Walls Zachary in 1978. I have three sons who all attended Yadkin County public schools K-12. I have practiced law in Yadkinville since 1976. I am a member of Yadkinville United Methodist Church”


Q: How long have you served as County Commissioner?


A: “I was first elected to the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners in 1980. I served two 4-year terms which ended in 1988. In 2010, I ran for County Commissioner again and was elected to a 4-year term which expires this year.”


Q: Why did you initially run for County Commissioner and why do you think this position is important to the success of Yadkin County?


A: “When I ran in the 1980’s, I felt that the Board of Commissioners needed some new, younger blood. I ran again in the year 2010 because I thought the majority of the Board of Commissioners was out of touch with the public. The position of County Commissioner is important to Yadkin County because the Commissioners set the county policy. County Commissioners can make a difference because they chart the course that the local government takes in regards to taxation, spending and projects that are taken on and accomplished for the greater good.”


Q: What would you consider the biggest accomplishment to the Board of Commissioners during your prior term?


A: “In my prior terms during the 1980’s, I clearly remember a sense of accomplishment in working hand in hand with the Town of Jonesville to achieve the water/sewer extension along Highway 67 to the I-77 interchange. When I go through that area today, I am proud to see the growth of businesses, motels and an industrial employer in that area. This was brought about by the investment and collaboration of Yadkin County and the leaders of the Town of Jonesville. Over the years, the property and sales tax revenues derived from that initial investment have many times repaid the monies originally invested, not to mention the jobs it helped create.


“In the last four years, I am very proud that the new Yadkin County Detention Center is located downtown where I think it should be and where I feel the majority of the citizens of Yadkin County felt it should be. I am also pleased that we have reduced county government spending to the extent that the property tax rate has been reduced two different times in the last three budget years. The current Commissioners have also refinanced three of the major private long-term indebtedness that will save the county in excess of $1.3 million over the life of these loans.”


Q: What do you think are the key issues currently for Yadkin County, and how do you plan to address those issues in the upcoming term?


A: “It is hard to say what Yadkin County’s key issue is. I would probably say the “umbrella term” would be economic development. Economic development is very difficult in this current economy. The county has limited infrastructure, i.e., water and sewer, and has no railroads. Many industries looking to relocate require these basic services. I think at this time we need to focus on improving the county’s infrastructure in hopes to attract outside business and industry. And hopefully, by doing that, we will facilitate the growth of the business and industry that we already have. Promoting economic development and growing our job market will hopefully induce our young people to stay in Yadkin County and not look elsewhere for their livelihood.”


Q: What county projects and improvements do you hope to accomplish if re-elected to serve as County Commissioner?


A: “Presently, the Board has a project on the table to run a waterline from the Yadkin River up Taylor Road and Flint Hill Road to the Town of East Bend, which will be the first part of a phased-in installation of waterlines through the eastern part of Yadkin County. Hopefully, this will allow extensions to other parts of the County. We have a contract in place with Forsyth County to purchase water from their water treatment facility just across the Yadkin River. We are also working on grants and loans from the United States Department of Agriculture to help fund this project. There are drawings in the process for a joint agricultural center at the Yadkin branch of Surry Community College. This will be used with the early college and the community college, along with many agricultural services which are offered in Yadkin County. There are other waterline and sewer line improvements/projects which are in discussion at this time. Lastly, Yadkin County has obtained a sizable grant to improve its recreational facilities, particularly at the 5-D reservoir location. There are some very exciting plans to improve that facility which will greatly enhance the outdoor recreational opportunities for people not only in Yadkin County, but in this region. I would like to be able to continue to work for these projects and see them come to fruition.”


Q: How do you feel about the current County tax rate, and if re-elected, would seek to make any changes?


A: “At this point and time, I feel much better about the current county tax rate than I did when I came on the Board in 2010. The first budget for 2011-2012, which was the first budget I participated in, the Yadkin County property tax rate was reduced by 5 cents. The next year (2012-2013), the rate stayed the same. The budget for the year 2013-2014, we reduced the property tax rate by 1.1 cent. That totals a 6.1 cent reduction of the property tax rate in the last three budget years. I am very proud of that. This was accomplished by reducing wasteful spending and by restructuring some of the county’s larger obligations. I hope that in the future the property tax rate can further be reduced to give relief to our property tax payers.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the poles for the primary election on May 6th, what would that be?


A: “I have been told by many people in the county that they appreciate the respect and decorum that the present Board of Commissioners has brought to this office. Again, the key word is “respect”. I feel like that I, along with my fellow Commissioners, respect the position we have been elected to and the citizens of Yadkin County. We want to do the best job possible. We sincerely desire to work together not only amongst ourselves but with our staff and the other elected officials of Yadkin County and this region to bring about positive government and positive changes to Yadkin County. I am honored to have had the privilege of serving the people of Yadkin County for these past nearly four years. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve Yadkin County. Thank you very much.”


Bryan Wyatt


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public to know about yourself or your family?


A: “I am 52 years old and my parents are the late Paul Wyatt of Pottsboro, Texas and the late Bertha Prim of Boonville. I married Beth Couch, the daughter of the late Jimmy Couch and Dorothy Couch of Jonesville. My wife and I have been married for 30 years and have lived in Yadkin County all of our lives. We have one son, Justin, married to Hannah and two loving granddaughters, Karlie and Courtney.


“I was employed by the NCDOC for 4 years as a Correctional Officer and then moved to the NCDOT Resident Engineer’s Office for 21 years as an Engineer Technician. I was a volunteer firefighter and medical responder for 20 years until I retired for medical reasons. During this time, I also served on the Board of Directors, Building Committee and Truck Committee.


“I have been a member of Arlington First Baptist for 25 years where I’ve served as House and Grounds Chairman and Disaster Relief Team Leader for over 20 years and continue to serve the Lord.


“I have been a conservative Republican from age 18 and continue to serve my party today.”


Q: Why are you running for county commissioner and why do you think this position is important to the success of Yadkin County?


A: “I am seeking a seat of County Commissioner to put new ideas into county planning. More development is needed throughout the county and it takes time and hard work to supply and develop new projects. It is important that a commissioner work close with economical developers and businesses, existing and new, to increase production and bring new jobs. They need to be involved with the public for input to county needs. Taxpayers need to be in decision making also.”


Q: What do you think are the key issues currently for Yadkin County and how do you plan to address those?


A: “Issues for our county today are good paying jobs, economy and waterlines throughout the county. We need to work with our schools for high quality education, work to have county wide water and in return that will entice businesses to locate in Yadkin County. Bringing in new industry will in return increase tax base and lower tax rates. Also jobs will be created and our graduates will have the opportunity for jobs close to home.”


Q: What county projects, improvements etc. do you hope to accomplish if reelected to serve as a County Commissioner?


A: “If elected, projects and improvements that we need in this county are good water for the whole county. It needs to be a countywide water system for Yadkin County, not for an adjoining county to furnish. Also, on the 5D project, I would put in something to bring in revenue to make improvements and expansion to the lake. Buying clothing in our county is a request from a lot of people. I would try to bring in stores to provide areas with food and clothing.


Q: How do you feel about the current county tax rate and if elected would you seek to make any changes?


A: “If elected, the current tax rate is high for no more than the county has. Bringing in new industry and stores will increase tax base and bring down the tax rate. This is a major commissioner priority for our county.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the polls for the primary election on May 6, what would it be?


A: “I would like to ask all residents of Yadkin County to remember me as they go to the poles on May 6. I will work hard for the citizens of Yadkin County.”


Kitsey E. Burns can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.


 
 
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