NC SENATE DISTRICT 6 FOCUS AREAS
Jones and Onslow Counties have unique needs that many North Carolina Counties do not share.
Here are a few of the focus areas that need to be addressed in Raleigh.
K-12 Education & Community College
The State Legislature has mandated lower class sizes, but Onslow County Schools (OCS) has a sustained growth rate of about 300 students a year and we do not have enough classroom spaces. OCS implemented school redistricting to alleviate overcrowding, but the long term solution is additional school construction. Jones County Schools (JCS) are in the process of building a $46 million school for Pre-K through High School with funding from the state. OCS has partnered with Duplin County Schools and JCS to provide technical education training at a newly built 55,000 square foot Southeast Technical Career Center in Burton Park. Coastal Carolina Community College continues to be a major asset for Jones and Onslow Counties.
Marine Corps Installations
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River are major economic engines for Senate District 6. They are the largest employer in Onslow County and the Marines stationed aboard the two facilities drive a large portion of our economy. We have a large percentage of students who are connected to the military and a number of our teachers are also related to military members.
Commercial & Recreational Fishing
Commercial and recreational fishing often compete for the right to fish our waterways. Too often, restrictions on fishing in our coastal waterways pits the two groups against each other as they compete to fish. Commercial fishermen and recreational charter boats rely on the coastal waters for their livelihood. Excessive regulation of fishing the waterways creates hardships for both groups of fishermen. Recreational fishing is a major draw for residents and visitors to the coast and supports our local hotels and restaurants.
Farming & Agriculture
Farming in Jones and Onslow Counties has long been the livelihood for many of our residents. Our roots, no pun intended, are in the agriculture industry and the majority of the land space is still farmed or active in timber production.
Local Businesses & Economic Development
Our local businesses depend on residents and visitors to our area for their success. Lower business taxes creates an environment for businesses to thrive in our area and sales tax revenues help fund our local governments. Businesses will seek out communities where they can prosper and don't endure excessive regulation. Economic development is the backbone to a growing community.
Recreation & Tourism
Eastern North Carolina is host to some of the best beaches on the Eastcoast. Our military bases and memorials draw thousands of visitors each year. Families and friends of our military members who are stationed here visit our communities. These visitors eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels, and shop in our local establishments. Annual sports events draw people from all over the state to visit our counties.
Navigation of Waterways
Our rivers and inlets that are a mainstay to the fishing and recreation industries are in constant need of dredging. This is an issue that impacts local, State and Federal governments who have a vested interest in keeping the waterways open.
Veterans & Retirees
Jones and Onslow Counties are home to thousands of our military veterans and retirees. The close proximity to our Marine Corps installations and the medical services they provide is an incentive to reside in Jones and Onslow Counties. Veterans and retirees continue to serve the communities they live in and are an economic force in the district.