King residents will have a choice of four candidates for two city council seats when they go to the polls on Nov. 3.
Incumbents Brian Carico and Dillard Burnette are facing two challengers, Tom Enterline and Rick McCraw.
The Stokes News sent each of the candidates a list of questions concerning their thoughts for the future of the city. The questions and the candidate’s unedited responses are printed below.
1. Please provide a history of your public service including any boards or councils you have served on and any subcommittees you have served on.
Burnette — I have served as King Little League President, City of King Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, Northwest Piedmont Council of Government, Chairman, co-chaired the merger of the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments and Piedmont Council of Governments to the Piedmont Triad Council of Governments and then served as Chairman of the newly formed Piedmont Triad Council of Governments, 12 years on the King City Council (10 years as Mayor Pro Tempore).
Carico — I currently sit in 1 of 4 City Councilman seats and have occupied that seat since 2011. I have served as a member of the Stokes County Republican Executive Committee from 2011-2015. I was the Vice Chairman of the Republicans East King precinct committee from Feb.2013-Feb.2015 and am currently serving as Secretary of the East King precinct.
Enterline —Long Range Planning Committee West York School District, York, Pa; Fire Advisory Board West Manchester Township, York County, Pa; Leadership York Board Training, York Area Labor Management Council
McCraw — In the King Community I have served as Charter Member, President, Vice President, Sergeant of Arms, and on the Board of Directors of the King Rotary Club. I served on the interim pastor search committee at King First Baptist. I serve as the chaplain and road captain of the Winston Salem Harley Owners’ Group. I serve on the board of the Home Owners’ Association of Country Place in King. I also serve as an alternate on the City of King Planning Board.
2. How long have you lived in King? Are you involved any any civic organizations or church groups? If so which ones?
Burnette — I have made King my home for the last 40 years. I raised my family in King. I am a member of the King Lion’s Club (Past President).
Carico — I have lived in King practically all my life, although there was a short period while growing up that we lived in the Westfield community of Stokes County. My family and I attend church at First Christian Church Ministries in Kernersville, NC.
Enterline — I have lived in King for 3 years and 8 months. After 36 years of employment with Caterpillar Inc and subsequent retirement, my wife and I chose King as our retirement location due to the core values that the city demonstrates, that being a strong Christian environment, with strong family values, patriotic , and conservative values. I am a member of Calvary Baptist Church in King, serving as director of the Jail Ministry, serving on the Missions Committee, substitute Sunday School teacher, and Security Team member.
McCraw — I have been a resident of King for 18 years. I am a charter member of the King Rotary Club, 17 year member of First Baptist Church in King where I have served as Deacon, sing in the choir, have taught the middle school Sunday School class for 15 years, volunteer with our church’s youth group, chaperone the special needs class’ annual Summer camp trip, and serve on the Man Power team. With my church I traveled as a missionary to Nepal and Thailand in 1999.
3. What do you consider to the best assets/skills/experience you will bring to the table if elected ?
Burnette — Leadership and experience.
Carico — I believe my current knowledge of city functions and willingness to stand for what is right regardless of pressure, sets me apart from other candidates. My strong work ethic and my devotion to this position is a skill that makes the difference. I do not consider this position as a “hobby”. My experience as a business owner gives a clear value of a dollar and teaches how to make tough decisions. Most importantly, my reliance on God through prayer gives me a peace with my decisions.
Enterline — I have worked in three managerial positions over a period of 36 years for Caterpillar Inc, a Fortune 50 company. Those positions include Industrial Security, Industrial Hygiene & Safety Management, and Operations Support Staff respectively. Directing the aforementioned is very similar to directing and managing the affairs of a city such as King, at least two of the three Caterpillar facilities I worked at being nearly half the size of King in employee population. In addition to supervisory/management training over this time-frame, I have earned an Advanced Safety Certificate from the National Safety Council in addition to being Six Sigma certified. Identifying and relating to the emergency services of the City of King, I have received training and certifications with the following at Delaware State Fire School: Fire Brigades 1-5, Emergency Preparedness – Safe Operating Procedures, Confined Space Rescue, and Hazardous Materials Response – Technician & Command.
McCraw — As member of the City Council and of this community I would seek to uphold Christian values with a servant’s heart, and a love for the people of this city.
4. Why have you decided to run for City Council?
Burnette — To continue service to the citizens of King as I have done in the past.
Carico — My decision to run for re-election is simple, “I care”. “I care” about the community that I grew up in and want the same for my family. “I care” about being financially responsible for our community so that it may flourish for years to come. “I care” to be an ear to listen and a voice to vote so the citizens of King could be heard.
Enterline — I have decided to run for King City Council for primarily two reasons. I believe that I have much to offer the position on King City Council from the positions that I have worked and the experience that I have acquired as described in question number 3. In addition, to be a conservative representative on City Council and uncompromising in regard to Christian Liberty…the recent matter with our Christian flag and kneeling soldier a stimulus to run.
McCraw — I have decided to run for City Council in order to serve my city and bring about positive growth to better the lives and opportunities of its citizens.
5. What do you feel the City Council can do to improve the quality of life in King?
Burnette — We are a full service city and continue to provide these services at the lowest cost possible.
Carico — The City Council can improve the quality of life in our community by continuing to invest in our citizens through our Senior Services program, our parks for all ages, programs through the Arts Council, City sponsored events, helping to support The Chamber of Commerce, and many other ways. This investment from young to old will continue to grow for generations to come.
Enterline — We must have leadership that reflects the core values of King and conservative application to the mechanics of each value, that being: The protection of our Religious Liberty, the support of Strong Family Values, the support and strong stand on Public Safety, and Fiscal responsibility in all considerations…(The spirit of Six Sigma applied without the actual process in place) With sincere attention to our core values, the Quality of Life will continue to improve in the City of King.
McCraw — The lives of the citizens of the city of King could be improved, I feel, by keeping taxes to a minimum, and reducing needless spending. I would love to see the realization of a greenway project connecting King Recreation Acres, Public Library, Central Park, and the YMCA.
6. What do you see as the three biggest issues facing King during the next term? How do you propose those issues be addressed?
Burnette — Getting sewer rates under control, keeping taxes as low as possible, and continuing to give full service.
Carico — One of the biggest issues facing King is the ever rising sewer rates because of the dependency of Winston-Salem for sewer treatment. We can remedy this by collecting data in how feasible it would be to begin our own sewage plant and be self-reliant. Another important task is looking for ways to promote industry development with us being closely located to the future I- 74 corridor. This would be important to give opportunity to King for jobs and tax base to relieve pressure from the residents supporting our city. Also, with Walmart starting construction soon, this will open opportunity for retail occupants. We the city council need to be prepared for appropriate land use to attract investors to the commercial areas of our community.
Enterline — #1 Sewage waste rates incurred by the public and as described in survey question #8. Address with current feasibility study; #2 Cultivating a favorable atmosphere for additional business/employment; #3 Religious Liberty
McCraw — Three of the main issues I hope to address in the upcoming term are:1. The construction of a sewage treatment facility to sever King’s dependence on Forsyth County. I hope to promote this project and push it forward to its realization; 2. The continued revitalization of Downtown King in order to preserve our city’s heritage and promote small businesses in the historic district, 3. I also hope to promote the Economic Growth of King to accommodate the creation of jobs in our community, and attract outside visitors to boost the economy of King.
7. The county and Walnut Cove have been asked to place “In God We Trust” on government buildings and the U.S. Motto Action Committee has said it plans to make a similar request in King. What would your response to such a request be?
Burnette — I do not have a response because they have not made a proposal and I do not know the history behind this.
Carico — I would welcome a request for “in God We Trust” to be placed in our community. I am an advocate for remembering where we came from. This national motto is the foundation of who we are as Americans.
Enterline — I am now, and would as a city councilman, be in favor of the U.S. Motto Action Committee’s plans to place, “In God We Trust”, on King City Hall. With the proclamation, “In God We Trust”, on our coinage and paper money, on some state license plates, and at our Stokes County Courthouse, it would be only fitting to have “In God We Trust” on our local governmental building as well.
McCraw — I support the addition of the motto “In God We Trust” on the government buildings in King.
8. King is currently conducting a study to asses the feasibility of constructing its own sewage treatment facility to sever its dependency on rates set by Winston-Salem. If elected, how would you approach this issue?
Burnette — The same way I approached the water treatment plant project, first to determine the results of the feasibility study and then to investigate possible grants or low interest funding.
Carico — We first need to collect information on cost analysis for this process. The process of building a sewage plant is lengthy and time consuming yet potentially could be cost saving long term. The reason for exploring this issue is simple math. Every year there is an increase in sewer rates due to Winston-Salem giving an increase. It has been suggested as much as 10 percent in previous years. If this was to stay consistent with past years we could be paying double in sewer rates in the next 10-15 years. This is why we need to act now instead of continuing to “pass the buck” for future generations.
Enterline — The north/east, where I am from, and the Midwest, where I have lived for the past eight years before moving to King, certainly is known to have a higher, across-the-board, cost of living. Thus, many advantages to living in the south. Relating to King, I have found the exception to the rule in one area, and that to be with my waste utility bill to be much higher than the municipalities that I have lived in in the north. This is one complaint that I have found with consistency among the people of King. The feasibility study will take some time but is a matter that I do support.
McCraw — I support and hope to promote the construction of a sewage treatment facility in King.
9. Taxes are always a concern for voters. What is your philosophy on taxes and do you foresee a situation in which you would vote to raise taxes in King?
Burnette — I would only raise taxes in King if it was the last possible resort to keep our full-service city running.
Carico — Taxes should not have to be raised as long as there are “wants” being furnished in the City of King. I have done my very best to help make sure that departmental needs are met with some “wants” being furnished. Until the “wants” are gone, a tax increase is not warranted. The only way I would ever support a tax increase is if the City would require funding for a “need” that the current tax base could not afford.
Enterline — One can never say “never” when it comes to raising taxes, BUT as a fiscal conservative, my endeavor would always be to maintain services that are favorable to our citizens while searching out various avenues of adjustments and procurement that would result without raising taxes.
McCraw — I have a conservative approach to taxation and spending. I do not foresee raising taxes of King’s residents.
10. What is your favorite thing about your community? What do you think is your community’s greatest strength?
Burnette — They are friendly and pull together when in need and the schools are excellent.
Carico — My favorite thing about our community is we have the ability to furnish a wide variety of amenities with a down-home attitude. We are able to supply everything from household goods to business needs without leaving our community. I appreciate activities within our parks and things as simple as a cherry coke at the drug store. The strength of our community is in the people that live here. We are hard-working people that do not mind fixing what needs to be done for us and our families.
Enterline — King’s greatest strength is a community of strong family values. This attribute of our community is primarily due to our embrace of Judeo-Christian principals/ethics. King is a faith based community for which we can be proud.
McCraw — What initially drew me and my family to King and keeps us here is its small town feel and strong sense of pride in the community. I feel that most of its citizens value this as well.
11. Walmart is currently scheduled to begin construction in the winter of 2016. Many people hope that this construction will bring additional businesses and restaurants to the area, but some likely co-locating restaurants like Applebee’s or Chili’s have a business model which requires liquor by the drink. Would you consider support the local ABC laws to attract businesses like this? Why or why not?
Burnette — I would vote to hold a referendum and allow our citizens to vote on this issue. That is the only fair way to get a real idea of what our citizens want.
Carico — I am supportive of restaurant businesses wanting to locate to our area but I am not supportive of a change in the local ABC laws for our community. I do enjoy a nice restaurant and I have nothing against the above mentioned establishments, but I do not agree with bringing the availability of drinks into our Community that the change in local ABC laws would allow.
Enterline — I do not support a change to the local ABC laws. I do not feel it would be beneficial to our community.
McCraw — Although the change of the ABC laws would attract businesses that serve liquor by the drink, I personally do not support his action. As a city council I feel we should look for other avenues of attracting businesses that don’t rely on liquor by the drink as a source of income.
12. What would you do to spur economic growth in King?
Burnette — We have grants for facade improvements in our historic downtown area. I think that expanding public parking downtown would be greatly appreciated by the business owners and would also help to attract new businesses.
Carico — Economic growth is something that can be done in a couple of different ways. One way is by continuing to furnish our City with the availability of excellent resources, services, and rates that would attract the needs and criteria that businesses are looking for. Secondly, by promotion of proper land use and zoning, while following up on potential leads to acquire businesses.
Enterline — Continue to cultivate a business friendly city with measured growth, and considerations to location and environmental impact.
McCraw — To spur economic growth in King I feel we must try to make our community attractive to outside businesses with tax incentives, tourism, and community events like Feed Stokes 5K and Half Marathon that attract outside visitors, encourage citizen involvement, and spotlight our local small businesses and city facilities such as Central Park and Recreation Acres.
13. What is your level of satisfaction with current municipal services? Are there any departments you would like to see improvements in, and if so how would you propose achieving those improvements?
Burnette — I am happy with them but I think that we need to pursue our own sewer system.
Carico — I believe we have a high level of services that our City departments provide to our community, but no department is perfect. In the almost 4 years I have served, we have made changes to all departments by clearing waste, while still providing quality services that we as citizens expect. It is my belief that every department should show reason for their funding request, not just ask for a blank check. It is the Council’s responsibility to monitor spending and Policy functionality within departments to see if changes are required.
Enterline — I am very much satisfied with our municipal services present in the City of King. While speaking with those of our community, I have received only two complaints, and that being with individual interactions. All departments must endeavor to strive for continuous improvement, both as a unit and on a personal level. Courteous customer relations/interactions, and appropriate follow-up where applicable by our representatives is an absolute we must maintain.
McCraw — I am satisfied with King’s municipal services and strongly support our local Police Force, Firemen, and EMS.
14. Is there anything else you would like the voters to know about you or your candidacy?
Burnette — I have always served the citizens in good faith and honesty and always put the taxpayer’s best interest first.
Carico — I have enjoyed the last almost 4 years helping oversee the City’s business and getting to know different ones within the community. Although there have been great times and tough times, I feel we can continue to make King our great City. If anyone should have questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You!
Enterline — I am married to the former Susan Prosperi of Altoona, Pennsylvania. We have four children and ten grandchildren with number eleven on the way.I am an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam era having served in the Philippines and Taiwan, finishing my term of service in Presidential Security for President Nixon and foreign dignitaries at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. I am a member of the NRA with favored past-times to include hunting, fishing, and hiking. Of Christian service, in addition to what I have listed in this questionnaire, I have participated in missions trips to Brazil and to the Philippines and am a volunteer with HELP Ministries of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. My Christian beliefs and faith are paramount to how I conduct my life, the word of God being my final authority in all matters of faith and morals.
McCraw —I will do my best to serve both God and Country and be a voice for ALL people putting Service above Self. I will strive to: Support our Police, Fire, EMS and all other City departments; Promote lower taxes and less spending; Support our School System; Ensure that our community becomes appealing to new businesses/industries and tourism; Support the Arts; Create an atmosphere that promotes the creation of more jobs; Support programs that promotes our youth and Senior citizens and provide for a safe and clean community; Live by the Rotary 4 Way Test in everything we think say and do Is it the truth, Is it fair to all concerned, Will it build good will and better friendships, Will it be beneficial to all concerned.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.