Editor’s note: All applicants received two questionnaires from News + Record. The first asked general questions about the candidates and their goals. for each role. Questions are marked in bold, any question left blank has not been answered by the candidate
David Delaney is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Cybersecurity and Privacy at Truist Bank. He is currently involved with the Chatham County NAACP and co-founder of Innovate Chatham. He is seeking to replace Diana Hales, who is not seeking re-election, as a Democrat on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners in the Dist. 3.
The questionnaires provided to candidates are posted here with some modifications for grammar and confidentiality reasons.
How long have you lived in Chatham County? (If you live outside of Chatham, please specify). Five years.
Age on election day: 51
Profession (where you work, what you do): Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Cybersecurity and Privacy, Truist Financial Corporation.
Campaign Website/Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/DelaneyForChatham
Party Affiliation (even if your race is non-partisan): Democratic
Current and previous elective offices held or sought and offices you have held: First candidacy for an elective position
Campaign Manager (if applicable):
Campaign Treasurer (if applicable): Virginia Claire
Why are you looking for this office?
I run to ensure we advance smart and strategic development, protect our environment, and promote fairness for all county residents. These objectives are not in conflict. Chatham County’s planning processes continue to improve. The emerging unified development ordinance, parks and recreation master plan and sewage commission report are positive signs. We must continue to innovate and improve in these areas, and we must take a strategic approach to the inequalities in education, public health, economy and technology that limit many residents’ opportunities throughout life. their life. All of this requires a community-driven partnership, and I’d like to bring that perspective to our efforts.
What makes you the best candidate on the ballot?
I have a passion for public service and have developed extensive legal and political experience that can help Chatham County. This experience includes cybersecurity, law enforcement, emergency preparedness and response, strategic planning and leadership development. My knowledge of the county and its future needs stems from my involvement with professional and civic groups like the NAACP, the Chamber of Commerce, and Innovate Chatham, a non-profit organization I co-founded to help meet the needs of County Digital Equity and Inclusion.
What three specific, measurable and achievable goals would you pursue if elected?
- Create environmental, social and governance goals that residential developers aspire to, beyond basic state legal requirements, to align with residents’ goals and values.
- Allocate new funds and align government and nonprofit programs to dramatically reduce current equity gaps in broadband access, digital equity, K-12 disciplinary practices, and reporting on juvenile delinquency.
- Elevate public health as a primary driver of community well-being and equity, from preschool nutrition to K-12 mental health services, to substance abuse, poverty, racism and other factors.
What are the biggest challenges in Chatham and/or North Carolina right now – and how would you tackle them?
It largely depends on where you live. Rural areas like the south and west lack broadband access which provides economic and educational opportunities. In the north and east, large residential developments have substandard sanitation systems and overcrowded roads. Environmental concerns abound, from the water quality of the Haw River to polluted streams, development threats to native habitats and species, and the near-term impacts of climate change. The county and state also grapple with the ugly and difficult American legacy of inequality and racism in many forms. I would meet these challenges by fostering collaboration, learning, vision and engagement.
Chatham County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. What do you see as the main challenges/opportunities arising from this growth and how would you address them?
Growth challenges us not only in terms of infrastructure and the environment that I have mentioned, but also socially and economically. Our tax base is heavily residential, which limits our ability to build public infrastructure that will attract larger businesses. The arrival of Wolfspeed, VinFast and other companies is good news for creating jobs and increasing the tax base for businesses. I will work towards more regional and state-level collaboration so that we can plan effectively with neighboring cities, counties and utilities. We must also encourage the growth of small businesses and innovative ways to preserve and use Chatham’s rural landscapes.
What is your overall vision of the role of the elected body you wish to join? Does he fulfill his mission now? If not, what should be changed?
The Board of Commissioners does an excellent job and certainly fulfills its mission. The county has an admirably strong financial position and the council works well with all municipalities, government entities and advisory bodies that serve our residents through public programs. In particular, the board also has an enviable relationship with the Chatham County Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools. In my experience, our commissioners and other county officials live by the motto I learned in federal public service – public service is a public mission. We are poised to make Chatham County a statewide leader in many ways.
Do you think the 2020 presidential election produced fair and legitimate results? (Please answer “yes” or “no” and then, if you wish, you have 100 words to support your answer.)
- Political/Government Hero: abraham lincoln
- Favourite book:
- Last read book: “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Liberty” by David W. Blight
- Favorite movie:
- Hobby: Any family activity, running, skiing, hiking, camping.
- Community/civic engagement: Life Member of Chatham Community NAACP Branch #5377, Founding Director of Innovate Chatham, Member of Judicial District 18 Racial Justice Task Force.
- Favorite things about Chatham County: The people I have met through my community involvement and professional life.
- Personal motto or philosophy in one line:
- Strongest Childhood Ambition:
- Most important life goal you have achieved:
Office specific questions
1. Chatham County has historically faced significant socio-economic divides between the east and west sides of the county. What can be done to bridge this divide and how do you foresee County Commissioners contributing to this process?
A growing and diverse economy is a primary need for bridging socio-economic divides in Chatham County. While some of this growth will come from new investments like Wolfspeed and VinFast, a significant portion must also come from within the county. Chathamites need opportunities to start and grow businesses. Older malls like Siler City and Goldston can be rebuilt through entrepreneurship and growing ties to a global digital economy. The Board of Commissioners can enable this kind of thriving and diverse economy through wise zoning decisions, investments in public infrastructure, and planning with cities and other government and regional entities.
2. Increased development in the county has strained its stormwater and wastewater management infrastructure. What can be done at the county level to ensure residents have access to sustainable and clean water sources?
The county’s water, stormwater, and wastewater needs are known or knowable through first-rate forecasts and other expertise. Strategic planning for these needs is essential, and the recent report of the Northeast Wastewater Commission is an important starting point. Municipal, regional or perhaps new county facilities are possible to meet existing and short-term needs. And we can see that the new municipalities are an essential means of serving the public interests of the residents. The county’s longer-term water needs are related to growth along the Carolina Core (US 421) and the interior. The Rocky, Deep and Haw rivers all play an important role in this planning, and collaboration with surrounding counties and cities like Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Cary and Sanford will be key.
3. With major investments in the county from VinFast, FedEx and the CAM site, how do you think the county should manage growth while ensuring that the interests of existing residents are heard?
It is important to note that economic growth IS of interest to current residents. A lack of growth would mean stagnation and decline in income and opportunity as the national and global economy prospers. Residents of Chatham can see many ways, including public infrastructure, housing, and health care, that their quality of life is improving through economic growth. An important way to approach this set of questions is to ask how all sectors of Chatham’s economy can achieve growth and innovation together. In Chatham County, a prosperous and balanced future economy does not necessarily mean manufacturing or agriculture, compact communities or natural spaces, large or small businesses. All of these things can be part of Chatham’s future.
4. Accelerating economic growth is also expected to cause a population boom, many of which will require housing for middle- and low-income earners. How do you think the county should address its looming affordable housing problem?
The affordable housing problem is already with us, as it is with surrounding counties. Unfortunately, the many developments already approved for construction in Pittsboro, Siler City and unincorporated areas will not significantly improve the problem. The most important step the county can take to address the affordable housing deficit is to ensure the Unified Development Ordinance allows for new land uses. However, similar changes need to be made in the incorporated areas of Chatham. Along with these changes, the cities and county must plan together to ensure residents have high-quality infrastructure to meet their needs.