Volume 15, Number 49
Two of the five candidates for two seats on the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners were not able to submit their answers to some questions from the Gazette but have sent them in this week.
First, the editor apologizes to Edward (Ned) Jones for the grievous error of referring to him to Ned Moffett. Moffett is his middle name. We are very sorry for the mistake.
Ned Jones says, “Wake Forest is a wonderful place to live. My wife and I have enjoyed living here. I am semi-retired and have wanted to become more involved so running for Wake Forest commissioner is the perfect opportunity. The fast growth of Wake Forest endangers the life style we have here. The growth has caused significant traffic problems. While in many cases these issues are not the town’s, the board should be able to influence them. I also feel that the government leadership should continually pursue fiscal responsibility. I have attended a few of the board meetings and have listened to many of them on line.”
Jones said he and his wife, Suzanne, a retired registered nurse, have two grown children and three grandchildren. They have lived in Wake Forest since 2012 and before then lived east of Rolesville for 10 years. “My wife and I like what Wake Forest has to offer, a friendly sense of community with likeminded people who love life and this state and country. I am a country boy. I grew up on a farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia (north central Virginia at the edge of the Blue Ridge). I was active in 4-H and Boy Scouts. I am an Eagle Scout so Scouts was my passion.”
Jones said he graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a master’s degree in agricultural economics before he did a further two years of graduate work in statistics at N.C. State. He also was a member of the U.S. Army, serving in Vietnam and receiving a Bronze Star for meritorious service.
After Jones retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he was a statistician, he started a statistical consulting business, 1-alpha, whose motto is “In God we trust. trust. All others bring data.”
“The best thing about Wake Forest is the people of Wake Forest, who are so patriotic,” Jones said. “They love life, this state and this country. And the other best thing we have what must be the world’s best small town police force, who keep us safe. The worst thing about Wake Forest is the growing traffic and the taxes.”
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Bridget Wall-Lennon said, “I enjoy Wake Forest and all that it has to offer. I am running for town commissioner because I believe my 20 years of experience in the public sector, coupled with my passion for servant leadership can be utilized to expound the successes already accomplished by the town board and administrators.” She added, “Some of the biggest issues, but that definitely are not insurmountable, are ensuring that we have steady economic development, job creation and workforce development, affordable housing and transportation. I believe that it is important that our law enforcement officers, fire fighters and town administrators have the resources and training they need to effectively serve, protect and meet the needs of our community. I applaud the growth and economic development that our town has undergone, but I believe it is critically important that in our efforts all communities are included and have a voice at the table.” She said she has attended a town board meeting.
Wall grew up in Charlotte and moved to Raleigh in 1999 to take a managerial position in state government, though she still maintained a residence in Charlotte. “When I thought about where I might like to live and raise a family, I liked the look and feel of Wake Forest. I moved to Wake Forest in 2009 and have resided here for the past eight years.”
“I am a business owner,” Wall said. “I am a third generation entrepreneur, and jokingly tell folks I have had a side gig ever since I can remember. I started out like most Kidpreneurs – selling lemonade in my Mom’s front yard. Prior to starting my consulting business, I worked for the N.C. Department of Administration for 14 years as a division director and special assistant to the Secretary of Administration. I was responsible for setting up an office within state government which was created by an executive order.
“I leveraged my experience from my professional career in business development and public administration to launch my own consulting firm, BLWall Consulting. Having worked for or partnered with various statewide and national organizations, I was successful in building a rapport with government officials, major corporations and public sector organizations that have allowed me to be effective in coalition building, advocacy and public policy.
“I am the principal consultant for BLWall Consulting. My areas of specialization include: business and economic development, program development, public policy, corporate and governmental relations, community engagement and involvement, strategic planning and process improvement and Supplier Diversity and Inclusion.”
Wall’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T State University). I was selected by a U.S. Department of Commerce agency to attend Tuck Business School’s Minority Business Executive Program at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Wall has a daughter, Lauren, who started kindergarten this week.
She said, “I like the quaint, yet progressive feel that Wake Forest offers. I like the strategic growth and economic development that town has undertaken. Many residents of Wake Forest work outside of the town limits, so the growth the town has undergone definitely provides conveniences that connect you back to the community.
“I cannot really say I have any specific dislikes about Wake Forest other than the traffic. In working with the Regional Transportation Alliance and discussing the Wake Transit plan, I would like to ensure that we give thought to addressing transportation needs that provide access to public transportation for all residents of Wake Forest, whether that is in form of “Park & Rides” or “transportation hubs.” I believe when we develop and incorporate a comprehensive regional transportation plan that it will address transportation issues that create traffic congestion on Louisburg Road (U.S. 401) and Capital Boulevard, both of which are major thoroughfares into Wake Forest.”
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The town elections in Wake Forest are nonpartisan and held on Election Day, this year Nov. 7. Because there are no voting districts in town this year the two candidates with the most votes are elected. This year’s candidates are Ned Jones, Thad Juszczak, Liz Simpers, John Van Ness and Bridget Wall-Lennon, all of them relative newcomers to town who have never sought a town office before.
This is the year in the staggered election schedule when there is a contest for mayor. The two candidates are incumbent Mayor Vivian Jones, seeking a fifth term, and Commissioner Jim Thompson, who is a first-term town commissioner.
To make sure you are registered to vote in this year’s election, go to www.wakegov.com/elections where you can also learn where to register and where your voting precinct is.