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New Hanover Co. candidates discuss hot topics

READ MORE: New Hanover Co. candidates discuss hot topics

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Time is ticking and elections are just days away.
New Hanover County held not just one or two forums but three different forums. Senate, school board and county commission candidates had one last chance to make their pitches to voters.

The majority of the questions concerned budgets and schools. Candidates vying for the spots as New Hanover County Commissioners addressed many hot topics that have caused controversy in the county.

The citizens of New Hanover County want to know what they can expect in the future if any of these four candidates are elected as New Hanover County Commissioners. Many say changing the future means learning from the past. One issue brought to light was the formation of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.

New Hanover Co. Commission candidate Brian Berger said, "We are where we are and unfortunately a bad plan was pursued for the wrong reasons and now it's costing the citizens of New Hanover County dearly."

From the CFPUA to the affects of the proposed Titan Cement Plant, panelists and residents wanted to know where the candidates stand on these hot button topics.

"We know that that cement manufacturing facility will emit CO2 emissions, mercury, and arsenic," said New Hanover Co. Commission candidate Deborah Butler. "I think it was wrong economically and I think it was wrong environmentally."

Some candidates are not new to the spotlight. New Hanover County Commission candidate Sid Causey is the former sheriff of the county. A resident asked Causey if he thinks there's corruption in the county. Causey denied such claims and suggested people take their accusations elsewhere.

"I keep requesting that people take that to the district attorney or call the SBI or the FBI and point out what we have," said Causey.

The topic of annexation was brought to light as well. Ogden residents fear forced annexation. If any candidate can feel for that issue it's candidate Rick Catlin.

"I live in Ogden too and I agree with you," said Catlin. "I don't support forced annexation. I would do everything I could to encourage the efforts in Raleigh to be able to weaken their capability to do that but if we can't do that as a county commissioner I owe it to the citizens that are in the city, to the ones who get annexed and the citizens in the county to quit duplicating the services."

New Hanover County School Board candidates and state Senate candidates had a number of discussions of their own as well Tuesday night.

Topics ranged anywhere from state budgets and the education lottery to off-shore drilling and unemployment numbers. State Sentate candidate Thom Goolsby went face to face with challenger Jim Leutze addressing the topics of public schooling and local economy.

The New Hanover County School Board candidates addressed their position on neighborhood schooling and addressed the budget shortfalls.

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