Goldsberry wants end to county's status quo

By Thomas Wilson

STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   Freddie Goldsberry Jr. doesn't believe Carter County's past has to be Carter County's future. The need for change was his motivation to run for a seat on the county commission, he said.
   "I had some family and friends tell me I should run, and I was a little aggravated with some of the things that have happened over the years," he said.
   Goldsberry, 49, is one of six candidates vying for three seats in the commission's 3rd District in the Aug. 1 General Election.
   He felt the county had been manipulated by a "small clique of people who have tried to run and rule the county.
   "We don't need that. We need people to do what they're supposed to do," he said. "The feeling about the county is, it is a nice place to lay down and sleep, but not a good place to make a living."
   The county's lack of economic growth had left most county residents earning less than $20,000 annually, which was significantly less than many county employees, claimed Goldsberry.
   "You're going to have to have a set of people to recruit industries," he said. "If it takes the first year of the commission to come about with a plan to bring in industry, it should be done."
   Goldsberry said the next county executive needed common sense and be willing to "stand up to the crowd."
   He said he opposed adding a financial director to the county's administration and felt the collaborative Watauga Regional Water Authority involving the city, county and utility districts was a way "to generate higher prices for water services."
   He also felt cutting salaries of some county employees could save money.
   In what he acknowledged as a political faux pas, Goldsberry said the county appropriated a significant amount of money to the county school system for what he felt was less than stellar results.
   The public education had taken teaching the lessons of discipline and respect out of teachers' hands, doing a disservice to students and educators, said Goldsberry.
   "The city and county administration haven't fought against the system to where (local schools) are giving a good quality education," he said.
   Goldsberry said he supported expanding the existing county jail to alleviate overcrowding problems and building a new facility to house the offices of the county's court and sheriff's departments.
   He also favored a zoning ordinance that was mandatory for all the county's district.
   "If we are going to zone, it ought to be done countywide because you are penalizing certain individuals by zoning only certain areas," he said.
   The county's 2nd, 4th and 6th Districts opted out of the county property zoning regulations.
   Goldsberry is making his first run for public office. He is employed in retail sales and also in Web site development. He and his wife, Glenda, reside in the Range community.
   "I care about my county and I respect the people in this county," he said. "I will not make a decision just because of the way I think, even if it means against the crowd."