Issues

Education

Unfortunately, since the pandemic began, we have seen an erosion of parental rights when it comes to our children’s education.  Blake strongly opposes the masking of our children in school.  He believes the ISS Board of Education’s mask mandate is harmful to our children in numerous ways, and has spoken out at numerous Board of Education meetings advocating for a mask optional policy.  Blake also opposes any effort to make the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for attending school.  If either type of mandate – mask or vaccine – is in effect when Blake takes office, he will vote to withhold supplemental funding to Iredell County schools until such a mandate is lifted.

Blake also strongly opposes the teaching of Critical Race Theory and will work to eliminate it in our schools.

As a father with a child in an Iredell-Statesville school and another approaching school age, Blake has a vested interest in seeing our schools succeed.  Blake will work to ensure our schools have what they need to make our children successful, and to attract and retain the talent necessary to make that happen.

 

Taxes

The current Board of Commissioners has a history of supporting tax increases on Iredell County taxpayers.  In 2018, the current Board of Commissioners, including the three Commissioners up for reelection in 2022, supported an increase in the County sales tax.  In addition, in its 2020-21 fiscal year budget, the current Board of Commissioners adopted a new 9-cent all-county fire tax.  Blake will oppose all attempts to raise taxes on Iredell County taxpayers.

Property taxes in North Carolina are determined by your property’s assessed value multiplied by your county’s tax rate.  The current Board of Commissioners approved an increase in the county tax rate for its fiscal year 2020-21 budget.  An increase in the tax rate results in higher property taxes.  According to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, Iredell County was one of only four counties to increase its tax rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year.  Blake will not support a budget that raises the tax rate on Iredell County taxpayers.

Blake will oppose any tax increases and will fight to lower your property taxes.

 

Spending

The current Board of Commissioners has a history of wasteful spending, which results in higher taxes and jeopardizes the county’s fiscal health.  When it comes to our budget, the Board of Commissioners lacks restraint.  As an example, the Board of Commissioners has increased our budget from $195M for fiscal year 2017-18 to $236M for fiscal year 2021-22 (over a 20% increase in just 5 years).  Where is some of this money going?  So far in 2021, the Board has approved over $1.2M in corporate economic incentives for companies to provide only a modest amount of jobs for the county.  Also recently approved was funding for the purchase of a “Mobile Health Unit” that will sit in a parking lot the majority of the time, only to be used several times a month, with a projected initial cost of $700,000 (and this doesn’t account for yearly insurance, maintenance and other associated costs).

Blake will work to cut wasteful spending and make sure taxpayers’ money is handled carefully and spent responsibly.  This is critical to the fiscal health of Iredell County and a necessity for keeping taxes low.

 

Zoning & Land Use

One of the biggest challenges facing Iredell County is the significant population growth and the infrastructure needs that accompany such growth.  At a current population of approximately 184,000, Iredell County is expected to grow to a population of about 275,000 by 2050.  Such a sustained period of expansive growth would make it difficult to preserve the beauty of our rural, agricultural, and lakefront communities as we know them.  Infrastructure needs would fall further behind.

Through the use of zoning conditions, farmland designation, and open space preservation we can allow for a reasonable rate of growth while our infrastructure catches up to meet the needs of Iredell County residents.

 

Second Amendment

In January 2020, Sheriff Darren Campbell introduced a resolution to proclaim Iredell County a Second Amendment Sanctuary.  The current Board of Commissioners, after being reluctant to pass any resolution at all on the topic, passed a watered down version announcing Iredell County as a Constitutional Rights Protection County.  Blake strongly supports the Second Amendment and would have supported proclaiming Iredell County a Second Amendment Sanctuary. 

On May 17, 2022 vote for Blake Palmer
in the Republican Primary for Iredell County Commissioner

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