Stand on Deep Waters with God or Stay on the Sand with Man?

I’ve heard this song a bunch but last night I saw the lyrics.  What an amazing song.  Do you want to stay on the sand where you rely on yourself and you think you are safe, or do you want God to call you out upon the waters where you must rely on Him?  Here are the lyrics:

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

 

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

 

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

 

I will call upon Your name

Keep my eyes above the waves

My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine

I Stand With Our Farmers and Agriculture Producers

Our county farmers were looking at a tax increase and I made the motion to stop it; of course I support them! The newspaper won’t tell you about that motion and vote though. Instead, the media and big-government types have twisted my vote on the Lomax farm to suggest I do not support our county farmers. What I don’t support is a redistributive scheme by which money is taken from all of our farmers and redistributed to a very select few, under 10 to be exact.

Our farmers work hard in the field every day and pay for their own land, pay for their own water and utilities, and pay for their own equipment. Then, on top of paying for all of that, the government takes more money from them to pay taxes on these things. I made the motion that stopped a tax increase on our farmers. Two rural fire districts (Mount Pleasant and Northeast) were proposing tax increases to reduce their fire insurance ratings. As I stated in my motion, this tax increase would disproportionately impact our farmers. Most farmers live very modest lives and have modest homes, but have significant land and costly equipment. So while they would see a decrease in fire insurance on their modest homes, they would pay a significant tax increase on their home, their farm equipment, their land (although some is enrolled in the agriculture program), and all of their vehicles. On net, our farmers and agriculture producers would end up at a loss.

We stopped a tax increase on our farmers. I think our government works best when it applies justly and evenly to all of our farmers, not just a very select few.

The Political Class Makes Sure The People Can NEVER Win

Right now, the big government politicians of Cabarrus County are trying to “temporarily” stack the Board of Commissioners to keep control over you. The common man and woman can NEVER be allowed to win in this government! Be clear, if the politicians can create and appoint new commissioner positions simply because they don’t like the outcome of a vote, they can do anything they want to you.

Less than two weeks ago, the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners reduced our $209 million budget by just under $4 million—a less than 2% reduction.

The response by big-government to these reductions was swift and overwhelming. Yesterday, Senator Fletcher Hartsell introduced and passed through the Senate a local bill to stack the Cabarrus board of commissioners for 5 months to ensure that the big-government politicians regain control over the people. The bill literally creates two new commissioner seats for 5 months and then appoints two new commissioners to ensure the big-government politicians a 4-3 majority. In December, these new commissioner positions vanish into thin air!  

See, our one act of standing up for the people by slightly reducing the budget shattered a carefully crafted lie that the big government politicians and county management have been telling the people for years, i.e., that cutting even a small amount of the budget would result in devastating cuts to core services.

In fact, these budget reductions will not close one library, not close one park, not close one senior center, not close one Lunch Plus senior lunch program, and we even added 4 positions to our EMS services! In addition, we took the savings and set up a special fund to start repairing/constructing our schools so that we don’t have to borrow so much money. Less debt equals less tax burden on you.

Be clear folks, the political class cannot allow any budget reductions. The political class of our country, state, and county has become wealthy off the people. The politicians of both parties are happy to see government grow as long as they, and the people that fund their campaigns, get their piece of the government growth. Big government spends lots of money—the political class of both parties knows this and they get theirs first.

It is my understanding that the NC House is scheduled to deal with this local bill on Monday. I personally thank Cabarrus County representatives Larry Pittman and Carl Ford for fighting against the politicians. These men stand for you.  As always, here is the full text of what I am writing about.  Amendment to Stack Cabarrus BoC

 Stack BoC snip

Fiscal Responsibility–Not Vengeance–Sole Motive in Budget Vote

Many people have many different opinions about our 2015 budget, but one thing I want to prove to you is that fiscal responsibility was the sole objective in approving our budget.  Vindictiveness or vengeance played no part. 

I am simply not a vindictive person; life is too short for that.  Ask yourself a question–since I have been on the board, which group have I had the most intense discussions with?  The answer is the Cabarrus County Board of Education.  And yet, when County Manager Downs asked me if I wanted the expenditure savings to fund a tax reduction, I said I wanted all the money to go our schools to fix maintenance problems we are having.  This would provide MORE funding to the Cabarrus County Board of Education!

If I was a vindictive person, I would have funded a tax reduction with the money and ignored our school issues.  This would have left a total mess for the county.  Instead, we took a fiscally responsible position and used the money from the expenditure reductions to fund our schools.  From the time I was appointed, I told everyone that I intended to better prioritize our school needs. This was my sole purpose in voting for these budget reductions. 

If you missed it, here is the detailed reasoning behind every one of our expenditure reductions.  I stand behind each one of these.  Budget Amendments 1 2015 PDF.  I understand people may disagree with many things, but I want to be clear about why we implemented these reductions. 

Also, here is the video of me telling Mr. Downs that these reductions would fund our schools and not a tax reduction. 

2015 Budget Vote

We voted on our 2015 budget last night.  I felt like there were some expenditures that could be reduced and use the funds saved to fund projects within our schools.  This is a copy of the list provided to the other commissioners with each reduction identified and the reasoning behind each reduction.  The first reduction we did was to reduce our own pay!  We also approved all of the other amendments.  Budget Amendments 1 2015 PDF

Also, so everyone can see that funding schools is our top priority and not simply a talking point, County Manager Downs asked me if I wanted to use the expenditure reductions to reduce the tax rate.  I told him I did not, this money should be used to fund our schools.

Other People’s Money–The Story of Government

I was at one of our parks this weekend and saw this county truck parked knocking over our sign.  The government has an endless supply of other people’s money and it shows even in the smallest ways.  This sign now needs repair and, although you may not be able to see it, the bumper was dented on the truck.  The most amazing thing is this truck was just left in this condition; nobody even bothered to pull it forward two inches.

Other Peoples Money (2)

Independent Tribune Cartoon

A couple people have mentioned the Independent Tribune cartoon from this morning to me. After the election results came in, I gave the following statement to the Independent Tribune, “I said if I win I would praise Jesus, if I lose I’d praise Jesus, and I praise Jesus for the wonderful opportunity.” I guess the Tribune thinks this should be made fun of.
***Update–Lee Buchanan with the Independent Tribune called me this evening to apologize about the cartoon.  I accepted his apology.  Forgiveness IS a requirement of following Christ!
Jesus Cartoon

The Watchman on the Wall/Thank You

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’  Ezekiel 33

I swore an oath that I would represent you. Although it was more difficult, I had a duty to stand and tell you the truth. Our spiraling debt in our country and county is a real problem that is going to have VERY serious repercussions if we do not deal with it. Like so much of life, the earlier you fix a problem, the less pain the remedy causes.

Even though I lost the election, I have been so tremendously blessed throughout my time in this position. I have made great friends. At times of tremendous burden, so many of you (many of whom I had never met) would email or call me with encouragement. Through the election, so many of you fought so hard. This is not about an election; this is about a movement to take our government back and make it responsive to the people again. We can still do that.

Although God has a different plan for me, please be assured that I will continue to fight for you until I leave my commissioner seat. That is the oath I took and I intend to uphold that oath. Thank you again and God bless you.

The Heart of Your Commissioner

I have a very simple campaign strategy—I stand and fight for the people and believe that the citizens of Cabarrus County will reward that behavior. Perhaps in today’s political climate that is naïve. This Tuesday, May 6th, we will find out!

Our governments are not responsive to the people. They are almost all comprised of politicians that do what is best in the politicians’ long term career interests instead of the people’s interest. The politicians load us and our children up with crushing debt and huge taxes to pay for their bloated spending habits.

I do not believe in any of that. I strongly believe that you don’t believe in that either. On Tuesday, you get to show whether you want politicians or leaders. You get the chance to show whether you want to recycle career politicians for another go at big spending and big debt or leaders who stand up and make difficult decisions that protect your interests and your freedoms.

You can look at my record and see that I am CLEARLY a different kind of leader than what the majority of your board of commissioners has been. I want you to hold me accountable. I created this website to give you more information about county government than you have ever had. Knowledge is power. I want you to have the power. My goal has always been to empower you with real, useable information so you can hold me accountable.

You have not had a board of commissioners that represents the common people for several years. For the last 9 months you have had this. Will you stand and fight for someone that stands and fights for you and your children or will you reward the same status quo behavior that created this mess? That is the question that will be answered on Tuesday. Commissioners Measmer, Burrage, and I hope you will fight for us as hard as we have fought for you.

I love the Kendrick brothers’ movies. This quote from Coach Grant Taylor represents my heart coming into the election:

“And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes.” I’m going to praise Jesus either way!

The theme song to their movie Courageous inspires me. I’m asking you, Cabarrus County voters, to stand up and be courageous and lets lead the way!  God bless you. 

We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous
We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we’re watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away
Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord
We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

Mount Pleasant Middle School-The Facts

I know everyone has heard a lot of rumors about Mount Pleasant Middle School. Below is video evidence of what actually happened. MPMS has been in desperate need of replacement for several years. As you can see from the pictures below, its “locker room” has no lockers (and no stalls on the toilets for that matter) and its ceiling is crumbling. In spite of this, the current school board member and former commissioner and school board member running against us did not replace or repair it. Instead, they focused on building glamorous new facilities while leaving our older facilities like MPMS and Central Cabarrus High School in poor shape.

After Commissioner Measmer and I toured MPMS in January, we immediately voted to use all remaining surplus cash to fund a MPMS replacement. We did this for two primary reasons. First, if we didn’t immediately allocate that cash to MPMS, the MPMS money would be spent or repurposed. The board had previously tried to use that surplus money for a variety of other projects, including funding for synthetic turf fields at Frank Liske Park. Also, if a new commissioners are elected next week, the old status quo could again prevail and that cash could be spent on something other than MPMS. Second, by allocating the cash immediately, engineering could be started immediately and the school would be done much faster. If MPMS had been placed on the bond, the earliest it could be started is spring 2016 because a tax increase in fy 2017 is required to pay for the borrowing.

In securing this funding for Mount Pleasant, we very clearly stated several times that if $15.5 million is not enough money to provide a terrific middle school, we will provide additional funding. I want to be clear though, allocating the cash immediately protected Mount Pleasant by securing that initial funding and greatly reducing the wait time for a replacement.

Commissioners Burrage, Measmer, and I were able to do something our opponents could not do during their several terms in office. I believe this is the cause of most of the rumors about the school.

Here is the “Locker Room”.  With all the talk of bullying, it surpises me our county leaders did not care enough about our children to put a stall around the toilet. 

Mount Pleasant Middle School Restroom

Here is the ceiling in the cafeteria with several tiles about to fall.  Our school board and commissioners prioritized installing a translucent roof in Winkler over repairing this.

Cafeteria Ceiling

We are fighting for you Mount Pleasant.