One of the three Republican candidates for New Hanover County Commissioner, Patricia Kusek, served as Chair of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority for two of her five years on that Board. This independent financial advisor says the lessons she teaches her clients would also benefit county government.
Expanding the tax base is the most responsible way to pay for growth, says Patricia Kusek. To do that, the commissioners need to take a hard look at one factor that has slowed economic growth in New Hanover County: an unclear Special Use Permit process. The SUP in its current form, says Kusek, is at least partly to blame for a drop in the County’s manufacturing sector and the loss of thousands of jobs.
"We have to create a favorable climate to attract business and industry. While we realize that tourism and our wonderful region is one component of that, we have to have a diversified economy because we saw in the downturn of 2008-2010, when people’s discretionary money was tight, then the tourism area suffered for that. We would be wise as a community to look at a whole, diversified community so that we can weather the ups and downs of economic cycles."
If she’s elected, Patricia Kusek says she would pay all of her own travel expenses, even while doing official county business. But that’s a personal decision. Commissioners, she says, should have a policy that mirrors the staff policy.