McCrory aims to be visible governor

Published 1:15 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2008

McCrory spoke on issues including energy, jobs and the economy, education, illegal immigration and the state department of transportation. He gave the approximately 20 residents his views on the current N.C. bill imposing a moratorium on forced annexation.

Asked by a resident how he felt about the idea of placing a moratorium on involuntary annexation in the state, McCrory responded that the annexation authority was created for large cities and he feels that privilege has been taken advantage of by small towns.

Annexation was really meant for larger towns because of infrastructure being built out, McCrory said. He said Charlotte, for example, where he&squo;s spent seven terms as mayor, gives residents 10 years of warning and annexation occurs after the infrastructure is in place and development occurs.

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&dquo;What&squo;s happened is that small towns are taking advantage of the mechanism and that&squo;s wrong,&dquo; said McCrory.

He said there needs to be a reorganization of the mechanism for smaller towns, but he thinks the current moratorium bill is too broad and shouldn&squo;t include what&squo;s happening in large cities.

On energy, McCrory said the United States has to be less dependent on other countries and called the United States hypocritical in that drilling off shore in other countries is fine, but it&squo;s not fine here.

&dquo;Aren&squo;t we kind of being hypocritical if we&squo;re not willing to do it here?&dquo; McCrory asked. &dquo;If it&squo;s good enough to drill in other areas of the world, why are we exempt?&dquo;

McCrory said $4/gallon gas is making people nervous and he doesn&squo;t blame them. He pledged to work with other states, including Florida, Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi, to help solve the crisis.

According to McCrory, the illegal immigration problem is being dumped on local governments. He said he favors a detention center so there&squo;s an alternative to holding illegal immigrants in county jails.

&dquo;(Illegal immigrants) know our system better than we do,&dquo; said McCrory, commenting that the United States often doesn&squo;t know the true identities of illegal immigrants because of aliases.

On education, he said he favors more vocational training in high schools and promised as governor he would not &dquo;start a new education system that rhymes.&dquo;

&dquo;Not every student that graduates from high school wants or needs a four-year college education,&dquo; McCrory said. &dquo;We need an education system that ties into what our labor and job needs are.&dquo;

McCrory spoke at length on the current governor&squo;s office and described it as arrogant and invisible.

&dquo;How many times have you seen your governor or lieutenant governor visit your town?&dquo; he asked. &dquo;This is not the last time you&squo;ll see me.&dquo;

McCrory said he is a promoter of land use planning and walkable communities and complimented what he saw in the towns of Columbus and Tryon.

McCrory said he&squo;s willing to make the tough calls and &dquo;anybody who appeases everyone appeases no one.&dquo;

He said he used to be a college basketball referee and once called Michael Jordan for traveling.

&dquo;You want to know why I called him for traveling?,&dquo; McCrory asked. &dquo;Because he traveled.&dquo;

McCrory grew up in Jamestown and graduated from Catawba College with a degree in political science and education as well as an honorary doctorate degree from Catawba College. He worked for Duke Energy Corporation before being elected as a Charlotte city council representative in 1989, was re-elected in 1991 and 1993 and then elected mayor in 1995.