Meet Steve Miller, a candidate in the democratic primary for a seat on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

Steve Miller, democratic candidate for New Hanover County Commissioner

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A total of 15 candidates are seeking their party’s nomination in the primary elections for three seats on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Six candidates are running in the democratic primary, and nine are running in the republican primary. The top-3 finishers in each primary will advance to the 2020 General Election in November.

The democratic candidates (in alphabetical order) are Jonathan Barfield, Jr, Don Betz, Leslie Cohen, Kyle Horton, Steve Miller and Travis Robinson.

The republican candidates (in alphabetical order) are Deb Hays, Joe Irrera, Harry Knight, John Lyon, Frank Meares, Ricky Meeks, Matt Rhodes, Bill Rivenbark and Skip Watkins.

All of the candidates agreed to be interviewed at WECT-TV, answering the same questions on a range of issues that includes public transportation, affordable housing, opioid addiction, economic growth, environment and the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Miller, 74, is retired after a career working with the Environmental Protection Agency, in consulting and in business development. Along with the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Miller believes rezoning is the other big issue currently facing the county.

“The problem is, the seeming assurance that when a developer comes in and asks for a major rezoning, they’ve taken a risk to buy a piece of land,” Miller explained. “Then they say they cannot make a profit with the purchase that they’ve made and the zoning restrictions that are currently in place. They make an assumption that they are going to get a rubber stamp approval from the planning board and ultimately the county commissioners. I am absolutely opposed to rubber stamp approvals. This is something that creates traffic problems, school overcrowding problems, storm runoff problems, and it is something I am dead set against.”

If you would like to hear Steve Miller’s response to questions on specific issues, you can go to the corresponding time in the interview listed below:

00:40 Why he decided to run for office in 2020

04:00 Candidate’s biography

08:50 Why he is best candidate in primary

10:45 What he considers the most important issue in New Hanover County

13:10 What is his vision for the next generation of WAVE Transit or public transportation?

14:45 What steps will he take to foster a better working relationship with city council?

16:05 Where does he stand on the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center?

17:50 Is there a circumstance where he could support a possible sale of NHRMC?

18:55 What should be done with county-owned area included in Project Grace?

19:55 What will his priorities be when deciding whether to support rezoning requests?

23:00 What role should the county play in addressing the affordable housing issue, and how?

24:50 What does the county need to do to make area more resistant to tropical systems?

26:25 Where should money from opioid lawsuit settlements go to help those battling addiction and needing treatment?

28:05 What types of jobs should be recruited to NHC and best way to do it?

30:20 Are the county and CFPUA doing enough to provide clean water and/or hold polluters accountable?

32:25 Does he think the county is doing enough to protect the tree canopy & greenspace?

33:10 Is there an instance where he could support a property tax increase?

34:35 What other issue of vital importance was not addressed in interview?

Early voting for the March primary elections begins on February 13, 2020. There are five locations in New Hanover County set up as one-stop early voting locations. To find the locations, along with the dates and hours the sites will be open, click here. Election day is March 3, 2020.

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