Scott Stone Elevator Speech
Name: Scott Stone
Neighborhood: Providence Country Club
Political Experience: 2011 Republican Nominee - Charlotte Mayor
Family: Wife - Molly (will celebrate 20 years this year); Two daughters who attend Ardrey Kell High School
Work Experience: American Engineering - President (current); Merrick & Company – National Infrastructure Director; ARCADIS – Senior Vice President, National Practice Director; Mactec (now AMEC) – Managing Principal, Charlotte
1) Why are you running for office?
Our City is at a crossroads. If we go one direction – the direction that certain special interest groups and most people on City Council are guiding us towards – we will continue to divide our community and limit our success. We’ve seen what government looks like when completely dominated by one party. We are stuck with wasteful spending on boondoggle projects, that not only divert our resources from what should be our priorities, but give those in power the excuse to raise taxes - again. I am ready to take my private sector experience and lead Charlotte in a new direction
2) What would be your top priorities if elected?
▪ Reduce wasteful spending
▪ Ensuring fiscal responsibility
▪ Focusing on job creation
3) Would you support the city's proposed expansion of its non-discrimination ordinance to include the LGBT community, including a provision that would allow transgender residents to use the bathroom of their choice?
No. There are currently no examples of people being discriminated against, so there is no need for such an ordinance. The ordinance that was proposed was divisive and unnecessary. The majority of City Council and the community was against it.
4) Do you support the N.C. DOT's plans to add express toll lanes to Interstate 485 in south Charlotte and U.S. 74? Or would you prefer to widen the highways with general-purpose free lanes?
Nobody wants tolls. We need to develop long-term funding plans for both state and local transportation projects. Within the Charlotte Capital Plan we need to establish a formulaic approach to prioritizing our infrastructure spending.
5) Would you support spending hospitality tax dollars to renovate or rebuild the county owned Memorial Stadium in hopes of the city winning a Major League Soccer franchise?
As with all projects, we need to look at the actual Return on Investment for anything in which the taxpayers are asked to invest.
6) Would you support an increase in the general sales tax to support more transit projects, such as additional miles of streetcar and a commuter train to Lake Norman?
NO. Our tax rates are already high enough.
7) There has been a significant amount of redevelopment in neighbors close to uptown, with older, sometimes historic buildings being demolished for new apartments. Would you support more restrictions on tear-downs?
I believe the free market, coupled with thoughtful and reasonable planning, should drive decisions on private sector development. Restrictions on what private property owners can do with their property sounds appealing to some, but those same property owners are often trapped by increasing property taxes without the ability to sell their homes.
8) A goal of the city is to increase affordable housing. In some instances, however, the City Council is asked to approve rezoning requests for low-income apartments, even when an area plan says single-family homes should be built on a site. Should the council follow the area plan recommendations or approve multi-family projects to increase affordability?
All rezoning decisions should be based on how the project will impact the neighboring properties and how it conforms with long-range plans for the area. To increase the volume of affordable housing in Charlotte, we need to drive down the cost of development (removing burdensome regulations and increase the speed of permitting) and consider giving density bonuses to developments which include affordable units.
9) Should the city change its guidelines for offering Business Investment Grants for companies considering expanding or relocating to Charlotte?
The City's current program is ok, except we should never provide "up front cash" as we did with Chiquita. That was the first time we had ever done that. Even cash incentives with "clawback" provisions can't be guaranteed to be repaid. While the City's program is necessary, the state's JDIG program can have a much greater impact on recruitment.
10) What makes you the best candidate?
I am the only candidate for mayor who is not a politician and has true private sector business experience. As a business owner and someone who has managed multi-million dollar budgets, I will bring fiscal responsibility back to our city government. No other candidate for mayor has this type of private sector or executive experience. As a civil engineer, I am also an expert in infrastructure / transportation issues. My technical professional experience is something the city needs in the mayor’s office.
11) What else should voters know about you?
It is going to take someone from outside of government to fix Charlotte challenges. I am the only candidate who has true private sector business executive leadership experience and comes from outside of government.