Board of commissioners candidates Q & A- District 2

Sandhills Sentinel spoke with those pursuing Moore County Board of Commissioners’ seats in November.

All candidates were provided a list of questions that they responded to in written form. Questions for each candidate are identical, and the candidates’ submitted answers have not been altered in any way. The order of candidates reflects the order they will appear on the ballot.

Ariadne T. DeGarr, Democrat

How long have you lived in Moore County?

I have lived in Moore County for more than 18 years and spent every summer and holidays here as a child visiting my grandparents and other family.

What is your educational background?

I have an AS in Small Business and Entrepreneurship from City University of NY-BMCC and a BS in Business Management from UNC Pembroke. I am in the process of completing an MBA at UNC-Pembroke.

Have you ever served in an elected office?

I have not served in an elected government office but have served in an elected capacity in several organizations, most recently as the Chair of the Moore County NAACP Youth Council.

For challenger of an incumbent- What is one thing your opponent did while in office that you would have done differently?

While in office, Louis Gregory did not fully fund our public schools. He almost seems to wear this fact as a badge of honor. But what honor is to be found in not supporting the majority of our children? Why would Mr. Gregory think it was a good thing to not give our public school students the best chance at a bright future, full of opportunities? As a Commissioner elected to represent all of Moore County, I would have partnered with the Board of Education and fought to fully fund our public school system.

What unique qualities will you bring to the office?

First, I bring my ability to connect with and understand people. I attribute this skill to my diverse background, having lived and experienced many socioeconomic situations in my lifetime. Second, I bring my tenacity and “never say die” spirit to the table when it comes to doing what is right to help improve the lives of others–especially our children. Third, I bring my ability to listen to and partner with groups of people, that may or may not have the same views as I, to work towards the greater good of our commonalities.

Why are you the best candidate for the office?

I am the best candidate for County Commissioner (District II) because I will work tirelessly to be sure that all of Moore County’s citizens are being heard and represented.

Louis Gregory, Republican

How long have you lived in Moore County?   

Since 2003, when I retired as Superintendent of the CSX Police Department and as a member of the Joint Command Staff of the FBI Anti-Terrorism Task Force.

What is your educational background?

I earned a BA in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina.  I have also served as an instructor in ethics at Sandhills Community College.

Have you ever served in an elected office?

Yes.  In 2016 I was elected to my first term as County Commissioner.

For incumbents – What would you have done differently if you had the chance?

After exposing the intolerable conditions at the Aberdeen Primary School, I supported the construction of new buildings, provided that the taxpayers approved their financing.  Subsequently, the voters overwhelming agreed to the borrowing of $103,000,000.  In the Summer of 2019, the School Superintendent made an emergency request for an additional $2,000,000 to cover a cost overrun.  I was initially sympathetic to this demand and, along with the other members of the Board, voted for the supplemental appropriation.  But, on reflection, I realized that the voters had not authorized us to spend this additional amount.  As a result, the Board reconsidered the matter and reversed its decision.  My view is that, absent an emergency or health concern, the new schools should not cost the taxpayers any more than the amount they approved.  As it turns out, the schools are being built within budget.

What unique qualities will you bring to the office?

Several.  First, I’m experienced.  I know what it means to be County Commissioner.  Second, I’m willing to work hard.  A County Commissioner must be prepared to attend several meetings each week and field multiple phone calls.  In addition, I spend many hours researching the intricate issues that come before us.  Third, I’m a good listener.  I convinced the Board to hold more hearings on the budget so that the public could make their comments known.

Why are you the best candidate for the office?

I’m the better candidate because I’m experienced and effective.  I know what it means to negotiate a deal with the USGA.  I know what it means to manage growth while preserving our County’s character.  I know what it means to balance the interests of all residents as we develop a new land use plan.  I know what it means to be fair to all people, particularly poor people, by working for the revision of the State’s economic tier system.  And in these times, I know what it means to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the health of all our residents.

Early voting is from Oct. 15- 31. The election is November 3.

You can find more information on the Moore County Board of Elections website.

Contributed photos: L, R; Louis Gregory and Ariadne T. DeGarr.

Article by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.

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