Six people — Democrat Ernie Wright and Republicans Jack Bright and Paul Buchanan, both of whom are incumbents, Royce Bennett, Robin Knapp and Mark Price — are running for the five seats on the Onslow County Board of Commissioners. The Daily News sent the candidates questions about issues affecting Onslow County. These are their answers.
What level of communication should there be between the board and municipalities? How do you propose meeting that level?
BENNETT: Communications between the commissioners and municipalities is not adequate. If elected, I would recommend that the County Manager arrange regular meetings with municipal leaders. I would also pursue joint meetings between commissioners and town leaders. I would personally make an effort to meet with municipal leaders on a regular basis to facilitate cooperation and communication.
BRIGHT: Any time you increase communication with agencies the better you understand the issues. I support increasing communications by contacting all municipalities and have each agency convey to the county what levels of contact and meetings they need and prefer. I support meeting with municipalities at any time or location at their discretion.
BUCHANAN: There should be open communication with all municipalities and have at least quarterly meetings to address everyones concerns and issues impacting all areas of the county. In the past, our County Manager has met with all the managers of the municipalities of the county. As we continue to grow, we need to be flexible and maintain open communications regularly with the municipalities.
KNAPP: I believe there should be a close, working relationship with the municipalities in an effort to better recognize and address particular issues that directly impact our county. Commissioners should not dictate to the municipalities but rather, work cooperatively to better understand the issues and possible budget problems. I believe monthly meetings with the municipalities will enhance the communication and overall awareness of issues, problems, etc.
PRICE: The board should strive to find areas where the county and other municipalities could share resources to increase the efficiency of local government. In order to meet the level of communication there will have to be a mutual trust established between officials at the county and municipal level.
WRIGHT: The level of communication should be at its highest. We should share our minutes with each other and have quarterly meetings with various municipalities throughout the year. For example, tourism would be an ideal joint discussion where there could be joint savings for both parties.
Thursday’s Daily News will feature the commissioner candidates addressing how to attract and support new business in the area.