Elect 2012: Ford, Troyer want to see more control at local political level

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 16, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
One thing is clear: Dr. Eric Troyer and Rowan County Commissioner Carl Ford may handle some issues differently, but the men, who are running for N.C. House District 76, agree that control should be given locally.
Troyer, a physician at Troyer Medical, is making his first foray into politics, while Ford has served on the county commission. Both seek the Republican nomination and a chance to run in the fall against Democrat John Williams.
Following the redistricting last year, the 76th district now includes northeastern Cabarrus County and southeastern Rowan.
“As a physician, I’m a problem solver. I do it everyday,” Troyer said.
Troyer said he plans to take his problem-solving abilities to Raleigh.
Troyer said his priorities are job creation, education and health care.
He said the way to create jobs lies with small businesses, and he’d like to help those small-business owners by eliminating fees, taxes and other government regulations.
Ford has said he wants to continue the work of the new Republican majority in the N.C. General Assembly.
“I want to keep it moving in a positive, conservative direction,” he said.
He’d also like to see the state enact a voter ID law, Ford said.
Legislators are looking to make it a requirement that voters show a government photo ID when they vote.
State budget cut have meant loss of programs and larger classrooms.
Troyer said he would balance the need for giving students a good solid education with the available money by giving control back to local government.
“The state makes all the rules,” Troyer said.
He’d opt to decentralize as much as possible, giving power to local decision-makers.
His daughter is a teacher and spends much of her time “checking boxes” and she, like other teachers, should be able to focus on teaching, Troyer said.
“The taxes now being applied could be collected and distributed at the local level,” he said.
The change has to start at the top, Ford said.
“We have to make cuts in Washington and the same thing in Raleigh,” he said.
Ford said there is absolutely too much red tape in Raleigh.
He’s in favor of giving control back to the local boards and to the community.
Ford hopes to put more money into the classrooms.
At a recent candidate forum, Ford said he would like for some of that money to go to community colleges.
The two spoke at a recent candidate forum at Catawba College, where they shared their thoughts on fracking, gun laws and job creation.
State-proposed cuts reduced funding to the N.C. Transportation Museum by 50 percent and will eliminate all state funding next year.
Troyer said with the current state of health care and other issues, funding could be best spent in other areas. He added that he’d make it a priority, but a low one.
“I know that’s not the popular answer. That money could be spent elsewhere,” Troyer said.
Ford believes there is a possibility of some funding for the museum, but feels the issue needs to be explored more.
“I’m not saying I would restore it, but study it,” Ford said.
He said there would definitely be a fee involved, either the same fee the museum currently charges now or less. The fee could even be split, with the state providing some funding
“Maybe you fund partially or not at all,” he said.
Ford called the facility a great place for the local community and the state.
The state’s primary election will take place May 8.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.