Cox: Incentives needed for industrial development

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

STAR STAFF
khughes@starhq.com

   With more than 18 years' experience in county government, Sid Cox believes his unique experience both on the administrative side in financial management as well as general management, make him the right candidate for 7th District commissioner.
   Being an elected county official has allowed Cox to experience the political side. "I think my general experience on both sides of the spectrum qualifies me as a good candidate for the office, particularly my financial experience," he said.
   There are many county government issues which are important to Cox. Elected officials "are put in a position of trust to represent all of the people in this county. I still put that in the forefront," he said.
   Education must be addressed, Cox said. "One of the components of that is having qualified teachers to carry that out and to pay those people in order to retain them. We need to address the quality of education and improving on that. We need to pay attention to our school infrastructure and make sure it's kept adequate."
   Sound financial management also is important. "I believe we're on the right road to making that a success with the financial director being hired," he said. "I think definitely it will provide efficiency. I've seen where a local government not having had professional purchasing and financial accounting and budgeting in place from an independent individual before, has made a significant difference in efficiency and accountability," he said.
   Cox also favors countywide zoning. "It's not necessarily to tell someone what they can do with their property; it allows us to be able to plan in the future for designated areas that are similar in nature ... so that we avoid the problems that we are coming into contact with now."
   He also believes industrial recruitment, along with commercial and residential development, must be addressed. "We need to look for opportunities, try to address those opportunities, and take advantage of those. As the community grows from an industrial, residential and business development standpoint, it spreads the tax burden a lot further among the residents and hopefully helps the tax breakdown," he said.
   Industrial development, Cox said, "is a very, very competitive environment. What we've got to be able to do in the future as a county government is to be able to look for the opportunities and have the right incentives in place to make industrial development more fruitful.
   "Where there is development, there are large financial incentives to get those companies in there. If we want to be able to offer those types of incentives, we're going to have to make sacrifices to do that," he said. However, "It takes more than just money."