Sunday, March 3, 2024

2022 Primary Election: Incumbent Julia Olson-Boseman seeks third term on NHC Board of Commissioners

Julia Olson-Boseman serves as chair of the NHC Board of Commissioners and is seeking a third term in the 2022 election. (Port City Daily/File)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY ⁠— Julia Olson-Boseman, Democrat, is campaigning to keep her seat on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Olson-Boseman is running for her third term and currently serves as chair of the board.

Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate running in local elections in the tri-county region. The paywall is dropped on profiles to help voters make informed decisions ahead of casting their ballots.

As a reminder, the early voting period runs from Apr. 28 to May 14. The voter registration deadline is Apr. 22. Voters may partake in same-day registration throughout the two-week early voting period (check if your registration is active at your current address).

Primary Election Day is May 17. Voters will choose which candidates from their registered party they want to move forward in the formal election. Those who are registered as unaffiliated can choose which party’s primary they want to vote in.

Olson-Boseman’s stances on issues are discussed below. All answers are included in full and the candidate’s opinions and statements are not a reflection of Port City Daily. Responses are edited only for grammar, spelling and clarity.

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Port City Daily (PCD): What is your top priority and how would you address it?

Julia Olson-Boseman (JOB): My top priority is dealing with the rapid growth and the rise in the cost of living. As a commissioner, I will lower taxes, raise wages for all County employees and invest in affordable housing.

PCD: What improvements need to be made to public transportation in New Hanover County? Should a quarter-cent sales tax increase pass, would you support a resolution to levy the tax beginning in 2023? Should a quarter-cent sales tax increase not pass, what would be the next best course of action?

JOB: With the skyrocketing cost of living, I do not support a quarter-cent sales tax increase. I think public transportation does need to be funded; a lot of people and their businesses are still hurting. 

PCD: What are your thoughts on the affordable housing crisis in New Hanover County? Is $15 million over five years adequate? How should that money be leveraged? What else needs to be done?

JOB: Two days ago, the county increased wages for all first responders including 911 operators, fire fighters and sheriff’s deputies a minimum of 12% to ensure our first responders can afford to live here. 

READ MORE: New Hanover County boosts first responder pay, starting this week

In the upcoming budget, we are approving an 8.2% raise for all employees to keep up with the cost of living and make housing more attainable.

Recently, we approved $15 million dollars over the next three years to be invested in affordable housing. 

In addition to this, we have worked with the City of Wilmington and local developers to invest in affordable housing projects throughout the county, including The Starway Project, Eden Village and various Habitat for Humanity projects. 

PCD: New Hanover County is creating an anti-violence department and spending millions each year to launch it. What are your thoughts on the action plan?

JOB: I am proud of the investment we are making to help keep our citizens safe and to keep the guns out of our children’s hands.

PCD: In what ways does New Hanover County need to manage population growth? Are there new ideas you would bring to the table?

JOB: New Hanover County has been discovered. It is no longer the sleepy little town I was born in 55 years ago. We need to continue to take into account any impact new development will have on traffic before it is approved, enhance and preserve our parks and protect our natural resources.

PCD: How well do you think the county balances development with “livability” (i.e. moderated traffic, preserved green space, etc.)?

JOB: Given the influx of new residents over the past few decades and lack of housing in our county, it is obvious New Hanover County is doing a very good job with livability. 

Traffic will get worse over the years as even more people discover us. Traffic to me means, jobs and tourists.

PCD: What role do commissioners need to play in protecting the local environment and coasts?

JOB: The commissioners are important in making sure our beach communities receive the funds they need from the state and federal governments and local tourism dollars to promote each community. 

PCD: What do you think of the county’s supplemental funding for the school district?

JOB: Last year, I lead the charge to make sure New Hanover County teachers were the top paid in the state. I am committed to education pre-K – CFCC.

PCD: What do you think of the current tax rates? How would you balance taxes with identifying funding for top-of-mind issues?

JOC: We will lower the tax rate in the upcoming budget. I would like to see us reduce taxes to revenue neutral using some of the $300 million dollars from the revenue stabilization fund to get money back into the local economy.

PCD: Is there an additional issue or issues you think need(s) to be addressed during your term, should you win?

JOB: I have a proven record of getting stuff done. Since I’ve been elected, we have constructed a 200 bed treatment facility to help battle the addiction problem in this county; formed a $1.3 billion endowment which is, by the way, larger than the original amount in the Duke endowment; brought teacher pay to the top in the state; added social and mental health care workers to our schools; brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic investments; and lowered the tax rate. 

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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