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Pop Quiz

‘ Welcome to the YES! Weekly Pop Quiz, where we ask politicians and public servants questions about their jobs. This week we’re asking questions of the candidates for Forsyth County Commission District B. The rules are simple: The candidates must answer immediately — no research, no callbacks.’ 

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Q U E S T I O N S

1) What was the size of the county budget approved in April?
2) Name as many of the Forsyth County bonds approved by the commission on July 28 as you can (including amount and purpose). 
3) Do you have any suggestions for holding down the cost of county government?  

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John C. Gladman (Democrat, challenger)

1) $315 million (X) 2)We have an $11 million bond that was going to be split several ways,some going to parks, some going to Tanglewood. There was onemillion-dollar one that I don’t remember what it was for. ( ) 3)Wow. We need to streamline all ofour processes and make our currentcounty government accountable. Knowing that we’re accountable for ourdecisions will bring down the cost of government. Things like SalemLake — If we correct these things in the beginning maybe they won’t beso bad. With our schools, we’re giving them money, but at the same timetheir performing poorly. ( )

Richard Norman (Libertarian, challenger)

1) I couldn’t tell you. (X) 2) At present there is a $60 million school bond; that’s the only one that comes to mind at the moment. (X) 3)For starters, don’t approve those two-thirds bonds. Those are capitalexpenditures that should rightfully be put to the voters, but thetwo-thirds bond loophole allows them to extend debt almostindefinitely. In es sence, it’s looking at your credit card and maxingit out. It’s wrong from a fiscal point of view, and it’s wrong becauseit doesn’t allow the voters to approve those capital expenditures. Ifyou want specifics, I haven’t bothered to look at the specif ics yet. Ibelieve the county wastes a tremendous amount of money, and spendinghas got to get under control. Corporate incentives have got to stop. Ithink county citizens deserve more bang for buck. ( )

Dave Plyler (Republican, challenger)

1) I can’t give you the exact figure, but somewhere in the neighborhood of $365 million. ( -) 2)An $11 million school bond proposed to allow the public school systemto move out of their current headquarters and let Forsyth TechnicalCommunity College take over the administration building and the careercenter. I can’t think of any of the others. ( -) 3) You’ve got totake a conservative approach to every budget. That means don’t spend itif you don’t need it, and if you need it, don’t spend more than youneed to spend. The caveat is you can be penny wise and pound foolish.Let’s say… where the public school system is concerned, how much longerare you going to allow kids to go to school in substandard buildings?…Where the jail is concerned you can turn half the jail population looseand how much are you willing to risk crime going up?… A lot of peoplesay, ‘Cut the schools,’ but you can’t. You might cut ambulanc es, butthen you end up saying, ‘Mr. Green, we don’t have an ambulance rightnow, but maybe we will in an hour.’You’ve got to pay for thoseservices. All these people who think they can cut budget no matter whatdon’t have a clue. ( )

Nancy Young (Democrat, challenger)

1) Right around $400 million ( -) 2) The latest one isthe school bond that has to do with Forsyth Tech buying Forsyth CountySchools’ administrative office and career center. ( ) 3) I really think we need to have an independent panel ofcitizens — most people call it a blue-ribbon committee — to come in andlook at the county budget to see where we cut. Let’s kind of go downsome line items and see where we might cut, just a general overallbudget review. ( )

Dr. Jimmie Ziglar (Democrat, challenger)

1) Approximately $300 million (X) 2) School bonds and recreation bonds ( -) 3) My whole campaign is based on accountability and making sure wespend the money that we have to cover various needs efficiently. On theother hand we need to make durn sure the money’s spent well, notwasted, that we’re adequately funding the things that need funding andmaking sure we don’t spend too much in the wrong areas. ( )

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A N S W E R S

1) $391.7 million

2) $2.4 million for parks and recreation, $7.3 million for schools, $1.2 million for court facilities, and $220,000 for public health facilities ($11.1 million total)

3) Whatever works

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