Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tom Guzulaitis running for Boiling Spring Lakes Commissioner [Free read]

Tom Guzulaitis is running for a seat on Boiling Spring Lakes Board of Commissioners. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Tom Guzulaitis)
Tom Guzulaitis is running for a seat on Boiling Spring Lakes Board of Commissioners. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Tom Guzulaitis)

Update: This article has been updated to correct an error that stated Guzulaitis was running for a fourth term as mayor. 

BOILING SPRING LAKES —  Tom Guzulaitis is running for a seat on the Boiling Spring Lakes Board of Commissioners.

Guzulaitis currently serves as Chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Author’s note: Port City Daily’s candidate interviews are largely unedited. Edits have only been made to correct spelling or grammatical errors. Candidates were not given word or character limits to answer each question.

What is your campaign platform?

I seek to bring balanced leadership and common sense decision making to the board. We know that growth is happening now and more growth is on the way; I seek to have a balanced approach to growth while keeping the fabric of our community intact. 

What makes you qualified to serve on Town Council?

I have served on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board since moving here in 2017 and currently serve as chair. In 2018 I helped launch the Bicycle / Pedestrian Steering Committee. Currently I am a broker working in BSL which keeps me focused on land use and how it affects our community.  I hold a BA in Government and politics from George Mason University.

What are the top three issues Boiling Spring Lakes is facing right now and what’s your position on these issues?

a. Development: increasing development in BSL will bring new pressures and opportunities. New development will strain city services but will also open the door for new commercial corridor improvements, including a grocery store and other destinations. We will need a balanced approach with a wide angle view of how all the moving parts work together and affect residents. Additional commercial center destinations can provide additional funding through sales tax revenue while providing jobs for city residents right here in town.

b. Infrastructure: Road paving/repaving, improvements at Fifty Lakes Dr intersections, Stormwater management and a bicycle/pedestrian system. With a growing city it’s critical we improve our transportation network.

c. Dam rebuilding: Much has been done, much more still needs to be completed. The board and mayor need to continue close oversight of these various projects to promote coordination with the various state and federal agencies involved and ensure timely completion.

Some BSL residents aren’t happy that the city partnered with Sanco/Dominion on the SAD. Some are glad for it, seeing the infrastructure as something more homes could potentially tap into one day. What is your perspective on getting additional wastewater infrastructure in the city? How should the city go about engaging with developers and the county about getting this done?

It’s no secret our community needs a viable alternative to septic tanks, many of which are aging out. We need a comprehensive plan (the county approved and funded a comprehensive plan this summer) to address how and where sewer comes in and how it will be paid for. What I’d like to avoid is ad-hoc additions to the system and use the forthcoming comprehensive plan to ensure we move forward deliberately and in an organized manner.  

It’s been decades since BSL roads have been addressed. Many are cracking or in poor condition. But with other major projects in the forefront (namely, refilling the lakes) it seems BSL roads have been on the back burner. Specifically, what do you think should be done to address the roads, and on what timeframe?

Roads have not been on the back burner, there has been limited funding for road projects even prior to Florence. We derive the majority of our road funding through the Powell Bill each year. That simply is not enough to cover the demand for new roads as well as upgrades to existing roads. The $25 registration fee provides some additional funding, but the city then has a stark choice of either continuing on the path of underfunding or raising additional funds – that is why I am a proponent of commerical district growth which can bring in additional sales tax revenues without further burdening our property owners. 

Would you like to see more businesses join BSL’s Highway 87 corridor? What can and should BSL do to attract more businesses to this area?

 Yes we need more business on 87 for reasons just stated. Some business will begin to locate here organically as the number of residents increases. If elected, I’d push for the city to seat a panel of stakeholders (residents, business owners, property owners) to help identify the types of businesses residents would like to see and then actively market to those businesses and make a case as to why they should consider investing in our city. 

What is one action/vote BSL got wrong in 2017-2019?

There is one pending action on personnel retirement that I would challenge the wisdom of. I believe promises made to our valued city employees should be honored.

What is one action/vote BSL got right in 2017-2019?

I believe the acquisition of the old bank for the police department was a win-win for the city. 

Anything else you’d like to share with voters?

I believe all of us have a valid opinion on issues regarding our fine city. Residents should expect their leaders to be informed and act in their best interest for the long term success of the community. It is my goal to provide balanced leadership. We will not agree on every issue but we can maintain mutual respect for each other in the process. 
More information on Tom Guzulaitis can be found on his campaign Facebook page.

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