Thursday, March 30, 2023

2021 Election: Jason Gaver running for spot on Leland Town Council

Jason Gaver is running for a seat on Leland Town Council. (Courtesy Jason Gaver)

LELAND –– Jason Gaver is running for a seat on Leland Town Council. Gaver is a registered Republican.

Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate running in municipal elections, which are nonpartisan, and has dropped its paywall on the profiles to help voters make informed decisions ahead of the 2021 election year. (Though, your support of local, independent journalism is appreciated through a monthly subscription. Also, consider signing up for Port City Daily’s free newsletter, Wilmington Wire, to get the headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.)

As a reminder, the early voting period begins Oct. 14, with the registration deadline on Oct. 8. Voters may partake in same-day registration throughout the two-week early voting period, which ends Oct. 30 (check if your registration is active at your current address).

Election Day is Nov. 2.

Gaver’s stances on local issues are discussed below. Port City Daily has included all responses in full, and only edited responses for grammatical and spelling errors.

READ MORE: Catch up on all political coverage

Jason Gaver – Republican

  • Education: A.A. Business, Carroll Community College
    B.S./M.S. Management, Johns Hopkins University
  • Job title: Entrepreneur
  • Experience: I am a small business owner, spent nine years serving the nation in the military, spent 10 years managing Navy Combat System Testing in D.C.; Leland Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander; Town of Leland Planning Board member; North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce board member, Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity executive board member; past secretary of Leland Area Rotary Club; Leland 2045 Committee; advisor, Brunswick Community College horticulture program; SERVE Team at Reach Community Church; founder of Veteran Business Connection; senior leadership team at Patrol Base Abbate (veteran nonprofit).
  • Family: Wife Tiffany, daughter Eleanor Grace, grandmother Grace, three dogs, Johnny, June, and Sadie

Port City Daily (PCD): What town services would you like to see introduced, expanded, or revised?
Jason Gaver (JG): As an elected official, it will be my job to listen to the citizens to see what they want introduced, expanded, or revised. I will continue to be active in the community listening to what our citizens are talking about and what they want.  

PCD: What’s one decision town council recently got right? What’s one decision they got wrong?
JG: I have heard plenty of frustration surrounding the interlocal agreement and recycling decision respectively.  I think overall the town does an effective job, but there is an opportunity to elect people with a strong track record of leadership and a fresh vision for our town.

PCD: How can Leland foster smart growth and development? What specifically should be improved or is already successful in your opinion?
JG: I am fortunate to serve on the Leland Planning Board and on the Leland 2045 committee. The Leland 2045 plan lays out a strategic growth approach that will ultimately drive decisions made by town council. We need growth to sustain our town, but we need to make sure that we are putting thought into the impacts. Does a new development negatively impact schools, roads, utilities, public safety, etc.? These are all things that need to be looked at as we grow.

PCD: When did you first move to Leland? Do you think there’s a division between so-called “old Leland” and “new Leland,” and if so, how would you appeal to both factions?

JG: 2014. I think there is definitely a perception of division, which I think happens naturally as town’s see growth.  I am fortunate that my customer base is all over Leland which has allowed me to meet and interact with many different folks. In addition, the civic organizations that I am a part of are composed of people from all over Leland. I will continue to interact with and listen to ALL citizens of our great town.

PCD: The utility merger with H2GO arrived after a long and contentious battle. Are you in favor of the merger? Are you concerned about any of the dissent surrounding it, notably by developers, Brunswick County, and a local legislator?
JG: History will tell us if the interlocal agreement was the right move by the town Citizens should be concerned when their elected officials shift their stances, and push through an agreement without transparency and discussion. I can tell you I do support property owners’ rights and don’t think governments should force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. I have a proven track record built on open and transparent communication. With regard to any dissent, I will continue to work towards engaging with, and listening to, all stakeholders on issues.  

PCD: Are you in favor of the town’s use of financial incentives through the use of taxpayer dollars to offset a developer’s expense to fund on-site infrastructure improvements?
JG: Yes, if it makes sense for the taxpayers. This approach is a common practice that is effective to both incentivize the developer and provide the town with a solid return on their investment. In the latest case approved by the council, the Town Economic Development director did a great job of laying out the business case, which included a 10-year projection of the financial return on the investment which benefits the town and our citizens.

PCD: Finally, what does Leland need? How will you help the town get or achieve it?
JG: The secret is out that Leland is a great place to live. We need smart growth, continued emphasis on attracting business and industry to sustain our workforce, laser focus on infrastructure management as we grow, transparency, enhanced communication, collaboration with local stakeholders and government, and strong leadership. My proven track record of servant leadership in the military, the corporate world, the local business community, civic organizations both locally and nationally, and on the Town Planning Board will allow me to be a part of leading Leland into the future.

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