Clawson would promote jobs, education as commissioner

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   Jerry T. Clawson has two priorities he intends to emphasize if elected to the Carter County Commission: Education and industrial recruitment.
   Clawson, 54, of Poga, is running for a commission seat in the county's 6th District. He said the county officials responsible for recruiting industry had not pursued industry aggressively.
   "I don't think there is really a good reason Carter County doesn't have industry," he said. "The county needs to get more land."
   Clawson said "several things" needed to be changed in the county school system but did not elaborate on the specifics. He said the county's students needed a strong education and jobs in the county once they left high school or went on to college.
   "When students get through school, they need to have an education where when they graduate, they can go into the market and find a job," he said.
   Among other issues, Clawson said he supported the Watauga Regional Water Authority's efforts to supply water, and opposed the hiring of a county financial director or any move to implement zoning in all eight county districts.
   County zoning regulations do not apply to the 2nd, 6th and 8th Districts.
   "I don't think a (finance director) is a good idea," said Clawson, who cited a new county position's salary and financial staff as another layer of cost in county government.
   He also said the intersections of Highway 321 and Highway 67 in Hampton and Highway 321 and the Old Poga Road had serious safety concerns for community motorists.
   "The visibility at 321 and 67 is bad with the blind spots," said Clawson, who resides in the Little Milligan precinct. "They either need to close (Poga) Road or improve the road in order for people to see both ways."
   He also felt the county needed stop signs at several intersections throughout the county.
   "I would also like to see more sheriff's department patrol in the community," said Clawson. "Until lately, you didn't see much of any."
   Clawson has been self-employed as a carpenter for 35 years. He was born in the Poga Community, but had lived in Avery County, N.C., most of his life until moving back to Poga eight years ago.
   He is married to Karin Clawson. The couple have two daughters, two sons-in-law and two granddaughters.