Brett Gantt, Apex City Council

0

Name as it appears on the ballot: Brett Gantt

Age: 37

Party membership: Apex City Council is a non-partisan office (I am registered as a Democrat)

Campaign website: www.ganttforapex.com

Profession and employer: Statistician, Environmental Protection Agency

Years lived at Apex: 12

1) In 300 words or less, please give us and our readers your pitch: Why are you running? Why should voters give you this position? What are your priorities and what would you like to see City Council do differently or better during your term?

I’m running for re-election to Apex City Council to 1) improve walkability, 2) improve downtown Apex, and 3) develop Apex thoughtfully. These priorities are similar to those I ran on four years ago, but I am running for a second term to continue to implement these changes and build on the progress we have made over the past four years.

2) Considering the direction of the Apex government, would you say things are on the right track? If not, for what specific changes will you advocate if you are elected?

Yes. The current composition of Apex City Council represents a change from the rapid growth outlook of the past. I believe that current city council priorities also better represent our increasingly diverse and prosperous population.

3) What are the three most pressing issues facing the city today? How would you propose to approach them? Please be specific.

Circulation – I support the requirement of $ 42 million for streets and sidewalks on the ballot this year to help build some of our highest priority projects over the next few years.

Academic Capacity – We worked closely with the Wake County School System to identify potential sites before development occurred in the area. This effort has already led to the purchase of several future school sites by Wake County or the granting of the right of first refusal.

Downtown Development – I plan to make a strong case for using some of the local funding from our US bailout to complete some of the upgrades to our downtown that were recommended by the Downtown Master Plan. and the 2019 Apex Parking Study.

4) What’s the best or most important thing that city council has done in the past year? Alternatively, name a decision you think council was wrong or an issue you think the city should have handled differently. Please explain your answer.

We used the unspent money set aside for small business loans during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic to partner with Western Wake Crisis Ministries to help eligible households at less than 200% of the federal poverty level to pay for their water, sewer, electricity, and / or solid waste utility bills.

5) What previous experience will make you an effective member of city council and an advocate for the issues listed above? Please note any approvals you have received that you feel are important.

I think my science background (North Carolina State PhD in Atmospheric Sciences) helps me make objective and factual decisions in Apex City Council, even when those decisions may be emotional or controversial.

6) Considering Apex’s growth rate, how will you ensure that the growth is well managed and improves the city rather than harming it? Where does density and height fit into planning decisions, if at all? How do you plan to reconcile growth and sustainability?

With recent changes to our 2045 land use map, we’ve tried to encourage growth in the right places and discourage it in the wrong places. Specifically, we have reduced the maximum allowable density to 1 housing unit per 5 acres in the far western part of Apex to control urban sprawl and protect the Lake Jordan watershed that serves as our source of drinking water. . At the same time, we have increased the permitted density around existing and planned transit routes closer to the core of Apex to encourage affordability and reduce reliance on personal vehicles. These changes were intended to ensure successful investments in public transit and to encourage higher density development models in areas where it can be supported by the transportation network.

7) Like most places in the Triangle, Apex struggles with affordable housing issues. How would you like the city to tackle affordability issues over the next few years?? Should we promote apartment living, duplexes and / or triplexes? Promote density in single-family housing? What do you think the city is doing well? What could he do better?

In the recently passed Apex Affordable Housing Plan, a combination of ordinance and funding changes was recommended to begin to address the issue of housing affordability. We have already made changes to our ordinances in the form of updates to our 2045 land use map that increase the permitted density near public transport. This increased density will likely take the form of apartments which are not currently common in Apex. Building on last year’s budget and continuing this year, we created and contributed to the Apex Affordable Housing Fund which will help renovate existing affordable housing and provide gap funding for new affordable housing. I think Apex could work even more closely with Wake County and other regional partners to take this funding further.

8) A recent report found that racial prejudice was “deeply ingrained” in Apex’s police culture and deeply ingrained racial prejudice throughout the city as an organization as a whole. How has the city dealt with racial prejudice within its police force and its urban culture? What more, if anything, should he do?

In addition to the report, the City of Apex released a 13-point action plan to address some of the issues identified in the report. This action plan is currently being implemented by our new Police Chief Jason Alexander. We also recently hired our new CEO, Katy Crosby, who is working on hiring a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion lead to address these issues.

9) How do you think Apex can be safer and more accessible using different modes of transportation? What is your view on public transit, pedestrian and bicycle safety, especially following recent reports of joggers being struck by cars?

I am a strong advocate of modes of transportation other than personal vehicles. Apex plans to launch GoApex Route 1, our first local bus circulator in spring 2022. We are also partnering with NCDOT and other neighboring municipalities on a grant to plan passenger rail transportation and related development. along the S-Line rail corridor that runs through Apex. Finally, we recently passed a resolution to support Vision Zero Apex with the goal of zero fatalities on Apex roads.

10) Apex was one of a handful of Wake County municipalities not to reimplement a mask mandate recently with the resurgence of the COVID-19 Delta variant. Was this the right decision? How do you think Wake County and Wake School Board officials handled the COVID-19 pandemic? If you think the pandemic has not been handled well, what should have been done differently?

No, I didn’t agree with the mayor on this decision, but I supported his right to make this decision for Apex in consultation with other mayors, county commissioners and health officials. I feel like Wake County School Board had the toughest job in local politics during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think they did as well as they could in a situation hard.

11) In what ways should Apex promote economic development? What are your goals for downtown Apex and what does the city need to do to meet those goals? How should the city resolve its downtown parking problems?

I see our historic downtown Apex as something that makes us unique and an important tool for recruiting new businesses. In 2019, City Council adopted the Downtown Master Plan and the Apex Parking Study, which established a guiding vision for downtown improvements. We recently voted to implement three of the top 10 recommendations from the study, including a redesign and expansion of off-street parking to add 178 new spaces. Salem Street is the main road through our downtown area, and we voted to transform the streetscape with wider sidewalks, street trees, and a borderless road / sidewalk transition that is more accessible and ideal for our people. many street festivals.

12) Apex residents love their parks and greenways. How should the city work to preserve, improve or extend them?

Careful planning and more funding. Apex is currently working on an update to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan that will help us determine the community’s most important needs. Part of this update will be an objective prioritization of future projects. If I am re-elected, I intend to use this master plan and the associated priority list to advocate for increased funding for the top-ranked projects.

13) If there is anything else you would like to address, please do so here.

Local elections really matter, and I encourage your readers in all municipalities in Wake County (other than Raleigh and Cary) to vote on November 2nd. In Apex, there is an early voting site at the John M. Brown Community Center (formerly Apex Community Center) which runs October 23-30.


Support local independent journalism. Join the INDY press club to help us maintain the viability of intrepid reporting and essential arts and culture coverage in the Triangle.

Comment this story on [email protected].


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.