1. Protect Our Citizens
I mean protect their freedom. Do not infringe on their rights. Don't overlegislate. Repeal and reform those most onerous laws which make life miserable. The difficulty with doing this is it requires us to listen to the needs of citizens and interpret them.
Property owners should not have to worry about being assessed additional fines and penalties for not "voluntarily donating" their land to local government. Recently, local politicians attempted to have me help them create legislation to force fines upon free homeowners, taxpayers and business owners in my district because the town of Cornelius wanted to widen a road. Some owners donated their land and that is their right. It is also the right of the owners who did NOT WANT TO SELL, or sell at the price offered, or be forced into "donating" their land, NOT TO DO SO.
I will not participate in co-opting the legislative process for the sake of greed. So, maybe the people involved need to look at their motivations. Ask themselves, would you want to be fined for owning property you don't want to just give away? That is truly an insane bureaucratic nightmare to which NONE OF US should be subjected.
Being viewed as agreeable is not as important as PROTECTING OUR CITIZENS. That is job one.
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2. Build Roads
Some would say I just blocked road building in my own community. But the job of the legislator is not to confiscate, not to seize nor force, but to build roads by investing the money necessary to buy the land it needs, develop it, contract for construction and get the job done. With foresight and consideration, not foreclosure and threats.
We also need to maintain the roads we have. And when major projects like the I-485 outer beltway around Charlotte need to be completed, we do not divert funds to other lower priorities. The people of my district have waited long enough. We will not be pitted against fellow Charlotteans, nor others in our state. If the legislature DID NOT FUND FRIVOLOUS and UNWARRANTED projects, then that beltway would already be complete.
A road like 485 is a path to a better future. The commerce it drives and municipalities it links create a more vibrant environment for business growth. By creating unlimited access, more corporations are likely to located along its perimeter. Northlake Mall is already having a positive economic impact on all the surrounding communities. That kind of success will be magnified when the planners in Raleigh get behind building the roads we need, instead of wasting YOUR TAX DOLLARS on other items.
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3. Educate in an Efficient and Effective Manner
The CMS jungle is an entire issue in and of itself. The fact that your school board cannot educate ALL the students in an effective manner has been proven beyond a doubt. Their inefficiency is legendary. Look at the raw numbers. They are requesting a billion dollars for next year. A billion. Do you realize what that means per student?
If you divide the number of students in the budget they are seriously asking you for over $8,000 per student. Just how long is this to continue? Five students equals approximately $41,000. About what their teacher earns in a year. Then you have the other 20 they cram into the classrooms. That's another $160,000 per class. Excuse me but if the administration, buildings, and other features of a school cost more than that per class, then something is very wrong. The average small business person would do a better job than the liberal spenders on the school board.
And you still do not have the schools built where you need them!
The state's role in education should be clear. Deconsolidate the lumbering giant of CMS to make it possible for communities to solve their problems and improve the childrens' performance. Extensive studies have already shown on a national level how consolidation negatively impacts schools and performance. After 70 years it is time to end the consolidation experiment and return schools to their communities. Whatever cost efficiencies were gained initially by consolidation have been lost as time progressed. The bureaucracy of school systems created its own needs which have raised the tax dollar figure to fund them higher than any local district's costs could ever be.
The large schools in large districts approach has caused a marked decline in performance over the decades. And it is only getting worse. As your representative I will push to make the dream of locally controlled schools a reality, for the SAKE OF YOUR CHILDREN and YOUR WALLET.
I put forward the resolution mirroring parents' desires in my district for School Deconsolidation H.B. 1017 (Mecklenburg Education Freedom Act). This is A REFERENDUM to allow voters to approve or not approve deconsolidating the school system. I believe the power to decide should rest with TAXPAYING FAMILIES not the CMS bureaucrats. The same state leaders again tried to block even a fair hearing on the bill. I have proven I will fight the good fight to allow YOU TO DECIDE what happens to your school system. It is right, it is fair and deserves your legislators' attention, before CMS WASTES ANOTHER BILLION DOLLARS of YOUR MONEY.
Given the most recent escapades for trying to keep secret the search for yet another highly compensated School Superintendent, I think it is high time that we have a government requirement that ALL SCHOOL BUSINESS be conducted in the light of day, a "SUNSHINE LAW" so we all know what is being done, and not being done with YOUR MONEY.
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4. Care for Those Who Can Least Legitimately Care for Themselves
This may seem like an odd central point for a conservative but it could not be more traditional. Years ago, communities banded together around their church and civic groups to find local solutions to their problems. Families which needed assistance could often find help among their neighbors.
The state can and should adopt the same approach. We need to identify those who are truly in need, unable to care for themselves, and as a state community give them what they need to succeed. Whether it is occupational therapy, job training, housing assistance or simply food, we need to step in and help.
Here is the other side of the coin. There are many people today who have made a game out of working the "system" for more than they deserve. They most likely should not be receiving any government assistance at all. This is especially true of illegal immigrants. They are not here legally. According to all the laws of this land they should be removed. But we allow them to stay. The least your representatives can do is draw a line and not allow them MORE FREE SERVICES PAID FOR SOLELY AT YOUR EXPENSE. Whatever taxable income they earn, and much of it is in cash and goes unreported, does not offset the EXTRAVAGANT COSTS we incur as a state paying for these people. I understand they want to live the American dream. And they can and should be able to apply for citizenship like anyone else. In the meantime, they should not expect us to support them.
The state budget would not be dramatically affected at all if we simply eliminated those illegitimate people milking the government for assistance when the truly needy suffer. It is a shifting of valuable resources from those who are running scams to those who are not. That is why I created the H.B. 1018 Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act
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Beyond the items in the RHODES CORE 4, there is no reason to fund other programs.
Once we have protected our citizens, created a positive growth environment by expanding infrastructure, established a stable education standard and helped those least able to help themselves, we will have fulfilled our mission.
If a teapot museum is a worthwhile project, I am sure that private contributions will flow to create it. Government has no business funneling YOUR TAX DOLLARS to items which do not benefit the entire state.
If we built an atmosphere in Raleigh where the priorities were met first, then the question of taxes and spending would take care of itself. We would not overspend, and there would be NO NEED FOR ANY NEW TAXES. In fact, I believe we could lower taxes across the board, eliminating some entirely.
END THE SPENDING CRISIS and LOWER OUR TAXES. Reelect John Rhodes for District 98 of the State House of Representatives. Let's keep fighting the good fight!
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