Candidate’s Page: Sheilah Sutton

Sheilah SuttonRolesville Resident: 11 years

Current Civic Involvement:
– Education Advocate and Communications Specialist for Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children

Previous Civic Involvement:
– WCPSS Committee for Equity in Education
– Village of Rolesville Homeowner’s Association Architectural Review Committee
– Outreach Ministry at Living Word Family Church
– Habitat for Humanity
– Women’s Shelter improvement project.

Web site/Facebook/Twitter/contact: FB – Sheilah Sutton, Twitter: @Chatwithsas

Candidate’s Statement: I am a courageous leader who believes wholeheartedly in community working and building together. I came to Raleigh in 1998 in support of my husband, Carlton, and his military career, yet stayed in the area because of a love for the people and sense of family, the weather, and higher education. Our three children have all attended Wake county public schools, two graduated already, and our youngest daughter is scheduled to graduate at the end of this school year.  Education is one crucial determinant of future success and that’s why I am a proponent of a good library system in Rolesville.

I am registered as an independent because I believe that no one has all the answers.  It takes all of us working together, regardless of party affiliation, to make our community great.  Everyone has had different experiences, which allows each of us to add value in different ways. My goal is to engage with the many different folks that have been here in Rolesville for many years and those who just moved here in the last month or last week.

As town commissioner I seek to make a difference by expanding transportation options and increasing economic development while helping Rolesville continue to be a great place to live and play – Small town with an even brighter future!

QUESTIONS:

1. Why are you running for this office, and why should voters consider you to be the most qualified candidate?

I believe one should be the change you want to see in the world around you. Being engaged gives me the opportunity to help Rolesville continue to grow into an even greater, more vibrant community. I want to see Rolesville become a desired place to live, work, and enjoy for residents and their children for many generations.  Doing that responsibly and prudently is crucial to the future of our town.

2. What are the three (3) most important actions you would take if elected, and how would you push or pay for them?

Transit – There is a need for a bus from Rolesville to Triangle Town Center. If you do not have a car you simply cannot get out of Raleigh to work or play. This will allow access to Raleigh and additional revenue into the Rolesville economy. Folks who work in RTP or NW Raleigh would probably appreciate being able to take a bus to Triangle Town Center to connect to via GoRaleigh (Triangle Transit) to get to their jobs, saving gas and stress along the way. For example, here is a link of the current route that runs to and from Wake Forest to Raleigh from 6 am to 7 pm. http://www.triangletransit.org/sites/default/files/maps-and-schedules/RoutesAndSchedules-wrx.pdf

Additionally, creating partnerships with Wake county schools in Rolesville for library access to Rolesville citizens until a library can be built within the town limits. Both transit and library services are projects that would be funded out of Wake county’s budget.

Lastly, I would seek to engage Rolesville citizens in the process more by communicating about upcoming meetings, hosting town halls periodically, and regularly scheduled surveys. I am very pleased to see the town survey that is currently being conducted (which I have taken) and the  town hall meetings prior the bypass opening were very informative. Good citizens are ones who are informed and engaged and I see part of the commissioner’s job is to proactively engage them in the process, especially in a town growing so rapidly.  There would be minimal costs to fund such because we have telephone blasts, town website, and the Rolesville Buzz as communication resources in addition to town meetings that are already conducted at town hall. I also believe events such as the recent BBQ ‘n Bands festival is a great way to engage and connect with the community. Runs or walks for charity or a good cause is another way to engage  citizens as well.

3. Rolesville’s population is growing. What are the three (3) most important challenges you believe the town will face in the years ahead, and how would you address each one if elected?

Traffic – As we continue to grow each year, we will have to utilize other methods of travel such as bus, car or vanpool incentives, high occupancy lanes, and eventually light rail.  I plan to work diligently on the Wake county transit committee in relation to expanded transit options for Rolesville now and in the future.

Services – We will need to continue to add services as our citizenship grows such as medical and more pharmacies, senior facilities such as assisted living, recreation, and vanpool; youth services such as sports and recreation, sports courts. Expanded growth with new homes sold and new businesses will provide property tax revenue to fund these additional services for Rolesville.

Economic Development– I believe in healthy competition and capitalism. We must draw more businesses to our town such as grocers, clothing stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues e.g., bowling, skating, a movie theater.  Rolesville is a great place to do business and we need to promote it as such through advertising in business journals and by holding business expos.

4. What, specifically, should the mayor and commissioners do to spur economic development in Rolesville?

Study other towns and cities who have gone through similar growth/transition as Rolesville – Learn about their triumphs and challenges. Continue to seek input from citizens in Rolesville and the Triangle such as the survey that is underway – great idea! Ongoing marketing via brochures, videos, reach out to companies looking to expand and share our town’s business benefits i.e., residential growth, location to Raleigh/RTP, and our new bypass.