Paula Harvey District 5 questionnaire

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - WBTV's Sharon Smith sent a questionnaire to candidates running for the District 5 seat.

Paula Harvey's answers are below.

Explain where you stand on the property revaluation process. Do you think it needs to be improved?

Yes, I do feel it can be improved. Also the process needs to be more transparent to citizens of Mecklenburg County. Property taxation is a complicated process and needs to be carefully examined.

Where do your budget priorities fall? Are there areas where you see the county could save money?

In my profession as a business consultant/trainer I teach budgeting courses, so I feel this will be a strength area for me. As a commissioner I will critically look at every line item of the budget. The CMS budget is extremely important, but all areas of the county budget are important. It would be my duty as a county commissioner to make wise and informed decisions concerning the use of financial resources. I pledge to take the time to thoroughly research our current and proposed budget and question anything that does not make fiscal sense. If there are programs that are not successful, I will inquire about them and make recommendations from my research.

Where do you stand on consolidation?

I have spoken with current commissioners and city council members on this issue. They have expressed to me that many city and county services have been consolidated. They have told me that all that can be consolidated has been done. My father who was the city planner of Ft. Worth, TX (and moving to Charlotte in three weeks) told me recently that the dual governing bodies of the commission and the city council is what makes Charlotte great. It is a wonderful checks and balances system.

County Commissioners have been criticized for their inability to get along at times. How would you improve communication and relationships?

This is another area where I feel I can be a strength to the county commission and one of the main reasons many of my friends urged me to run when Neil Cooksey announced he was not planning on running for re-election. I have strong business negotiation and conflict management skills. I teach courses on these subjects. In my professional career in human resources I have many examples to share on how I was able to bring people together. Some of my greatest successful challenges as a leader have been in volunteer roles in not-for-profits.

Is there one issue or concern that motivated you to enter the race more than any other? 

I was actually urged by friends to run. This was not done on a whim and I have been planning my campaign since November. I am new to the political scene, so it has been a huge learning curve. But I feel that being new is a good thing as many people from my district have expressed that we need a change. We need a strong, level-headed, good-listener, and business minded person to represent South Charlotte-District 5. I know I will work hard to do a great job representing my part of the county.