Chapel Hill News

Cagle sees solutions in better use of Orange County resources

Andy Cagle
Andy Cagle

The county must balance growth headed its way with existing resources and preservation of its history, environment and older homes, Andy Cagle says.

The small-business owner who lives in Efland is running for one at-large seat on the Orange County Board of Commissioners. Orange County Democratic Party Chairman Matt Hughes and homebuilder Mark Marcoplos also are running for the seat, which Commissioner Bernadette Pelissier plans to leave in December.

All Orange County voters cast ballots for the at-large seat. The winner, since no Republicans are running, will be decided in the March 15 primary. Early voting starts March 3.

Cagle, who ran unsuccessfully for sheriff in 2014, said the environment, growth and the economy are his priorities.

“First we must control the growth by making sure that we don’t exceed our ability to provide services, in other words, preplan our service needs,” he said. “We also need to make sure we preserve our history ... and make all efforts to conserve our natural resources.”

“Instead of tearing (landmarks and older homes) down, make sure that we maintain them and preserve them. That’s the biggest thing. And reducing what we take from our natural resources,” he said.

The $125 million November bond addresses about a third of the repair and renovation needs in both school districts. How would you address the remaining needs?

Cagle: I would work with state legislators on both sides (of the aisle) in an effort to increase our school funding. Upon the successful conclusion of funding from the state, we could then reallocate money from our county school fund to school repairs. One other thing we could do is cost-sharing with our two school districts. When you put the two together, you can buy in bulk, and bulk is cheaper than the individual purchase. Money saved from cost sharing could be used on school repairs.

What should the county’s role be in making sure there’s affordable housing for lower-income and working class families? Would you be willing to relax the rural buffer rules to provide housing?

Cagle: We must work to lessen the complicated procedures – zoning, land use, permitting, larger lot sizes and the number of dwellings per lot – that really drive the cost up for affordable housing. In regard to the rural buffer, I believe it should remain as it is. Currently, light agriculture business is permitted, organic farmers and such. We should focus more on smart growth and utilize our existing vacant structures before we start to move into the rural buffer in an effort to preserve our green space.

What issue would you raise during your first six months in office that no one else is talking about?

Cagle: The issue I would raise during my first six months in office would be the needed assessment of salaries for deputies. We must be sure that their salaries are competitive in order to retain the investments of our citizens. I would also seek assessments to be sure that our Sheriff’s Office and EMS divisions are adequately staffed.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

Meet the candidate

Name: Andy Cagle

Age: 48

Address: Mt. Willing Road, Efland

Contact:; 336-214-0149

Party affiliation: Democrat

Career: owns Cagle's Corner Grading, Hauling and Septic System; certified wastewater contractor

Political activities: Ran unsuccessfully for sheriff in 2014

Community activities: Orange County Human Relations Commission, Orange Grove Fire Department (firefighter, First Responder), Grange Hall, public relations and guitar player with The Cagle Family bluegrass/gospel group