Cary, NC — This is the second installment of our Candidate 2015 series, in which candidates get to respond in their own words to the same three questions.
As usual, we publish the responses in the order we receive them. Next up is Gabe Talton, running as the challenger for Cary Town Council, District B.
As we have done in previous election cycles, we sent a list of three short questions to all the candidates for office in Cary. We do not edit the answers but provide a forum for the candidates to speak to our readers in their own words.
We encourage all citizens to go to the polls in Cary on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.
Q1 – Why are you running?
I am a practicing attorney for ten years and four generations of my family have lived on South Academy Street in Cary. I have a much to contribute to the Town Council.
My passion is the completion of the downtown redevelopment project which has been planned over the last 15 years. The next four year term is a crucial time because we are going to see the completion of the Academy Street improvements, the opening of the Mayton Inn, the construction of the Downtown Cary Regional Library, and the construction of the Town Square Park. The current library will become a redevelopment site. We will see the culmination of over 15 years of planning.
I see the Town Square Park as a campus type area for children, youth and young families. These are the people who use the library, the Arts Center and Cary Elementary. I agree with the current plan which holds South Academy as a cultural arts anchor.
My vision for South Academy Street comes from living there. Youth and young adults come to the library to use the internet and take online classes. Children and young families come for story time. The Town Square Park should have the feel of a campus quad.
I’m running because I have the energy and vision to complete the downtown project.
Q2 – What are your top three priorities and how will you accomplish them?
Town Square Park as Campus- The design firm has already been retained to start initial design. The concepts being discussed are good first steps. We need to provide the town staff and the design firm solid direction to make the park friendly to youth and young children.
Maynard Loop Pedestrian Access- The Downtown area needs more foot traffic to be successful. We need to improve pedestrian and bicycle access to downtown from neighborhoods inside the Maynard loop. Pedestrian safety around Cary High is particularly important.
Maynard Loop Infrastructure- Many neighborhoods inside the Maynard Loop have water and sewer systems which are over 50 years old. We need a comprehensive plan to fund the reconstruction of the oldest water and sewer systems in Cary.
Q3 – Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience.
I am a proud product of Wake County magnet schools where I attended Wiley Elementary, Martin Middle and Enloe High. I graduated from N.C. State in 2001 with a B.S. in History with a minor in Spanish. I then continued my education at Rutgers University School of Law where I received my J.D. in 2004. While at Rutgers, I was honored to be a Marshall Brennan Fellow and had the opportunity to teach constitutional law to students at one of the most underprivileged high schools in the country.
After law school I took a position in Miami as an attorney at the Public Defender’s office where I continued to improve my Spanish.
In 2006 I moved back to Cary to get married. I shifted my work focus to civil matters. I became active in the N.C. Advocates for Justice and have held several leadership roles within the organization including two years on the Board of Governors.
I now sit on the N.C. Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. This commission is a result of the American Bar Association’s call for action on the subject. The stakeholders on the commission are a bipartisan group of prosecutors, judges, police chiefs, criminal defense attorneys and civil rights advocates.
I was honored to receive the distinction of Emerging Legal Leader by North Carolina Lawyers’ Weekly Newspaper in 2011.
I currently practice with the firm of Tatum and Atkinson in Raleigh. I focus my practice in civil litigation of injury, insurance, real estate and workers compensation cases. I enjoy speaking Spanish on a daily basis in my work.
Read more of the Candidate 2015 series.