District 2 Board of Supervisors candidate profile: William McCarty

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Editor’s note: William McCarty is running against Tracy Hendrix for the District 2 seat on Isle of Wight County’s Board of Supervisors. The Smithfield Times emailed the following questionnaire to each candidate on Sept. 5. Hendrix declined to participate.

Name: William M. “Pastor Mac” McCarty Sr. 

Age: 46

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Occupation: Lead Pastor – Healing Waters Worship Center/ Life Coach/Counselor

Previous Elected Offices Held: Board of Supervisors 2015-present, Virginia Association of Counties 2019-present (2nd vice president since 2022), chairman of HRTPO 2023-present

1. Can you briefly summarize why you decided to run for the Board of Supervisors?

There’s still work to be done, and I am up to the task. Local tasks include continuing to build our Public Safety as we partner with the Sheriff’s Department, Fire, Rescue and EMS along with our valued volunteers as they provide committed service to our citizens. Continue diversifying our tax base through business development and job creation while standing behind our small businesses. Funding public schools to meet the needs of the students, the staff, and the expectations of our taxpayers. Keeping our taxes low and keep the government living within its means. Without running, IOW County would lose out at the Regional and State level, as I was elected and appointed to various posts that provide influence on behalf of IOW Citizens. I value integrity, my character is not up for sale at any time. I will stand alongside our citizens to ensure our Constitutional County is preserved.  

2. Did the supervisors lower the county’s real estate tax rate too little, just enough, or too much in light of this year’s reassessed property values?

Our board reached a well-studied consensus on this reduction in the tax rate in conjunction with our citizen’s input.  I truly believe that continued managed growth, expansion of our commercial and industrial community, and supporting, encouraging, and expanding small businesses as we work to diversify our County’s tax base further is part of the equation. We have, over the years, provided tax relief for Seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and our much-valued volunteers. 

3. Do you support the supervisors’ vote in May to cap solar farms at 2% of the county’s prime farm soils? Why or why not?

The 2% cap was a solid recommendation of the newly formed Energy Task Force. I agree with it as it provides space for green energy concepts and keeps the majority of prime farmland untethered by the solar farm models. This keeps us in line with preserving the rural character of the County at large. Balancing act between the rights of property owner and the needs of a County.

4. Does the Board of Supervisors contribute too little, just enough, or too much funding to Isle of Wight County Schools?

The citizens of Isle of Wight County provide a great resource in funding education in this County. We are funding them within our means according to the School Board’s expressed needs. The citizens, through the BOS, have provided funding for numerous CTE programs, provided funds for security upgrades, funding for additional School Resource officers, provided raises to ALL the employees of the Schools, even when the State only funded Standards of Quality, leaving huge shortfall. We built a $37 Million dollar new Hardy Elementary School for our students, provided much-needed funding for items maintenance demanded, all without raising the tax rates on our citizens. I am committed to our teachers and stand by them. Governor Terry McAuliffe, several years ago, clawed back the teacher’s raises after leading every locality in VA to believe it was funded, and we, the BOS, kept it funded to take care of our teachers. 

5. Was the supervisors’ vote in 2022 to contribute up to $1.4 million toward moving the farmers market to the Grange at 10Main development the right decision, and would you be willing to consider other public-private partnership agreements?

This was a tentative decision very early on and was always pending the negotiations of acceptable terms to the County to include, but not limited to, design, management, and ongoing maintenance.  If terms were not agreeable, no check or money would be exchanged. The concept of a Farmers Market is a nice one; however, it may not be fiscally sound in the current times. 

6. Is Isle of Wight seeing too little, just enough, or too much growth in terms of new residential and commercial developments?

We wouldn’t have Riverside Hospital coming to our County if we had not had properly managed growth within our community. It is important to note that most of the growth in the Newport DSD was approved all the way back to the late 1990’s. The State of VA does not allow sunset clauses on approvals, meaning no Board of Supervisors may retract an approval once given in this regard. Many decades ago, the citizens voted and formed the DSD (Developmental Service District) concept. This allowed 15% of the County’s land mass to be designated for targeted growth while the other 85% remained rural without any urban sprawl, which preserves our Rural Community. This is a binding rule that governs the county community development staff and the Planning Commission in their deliberation, as well as all zoning ordinances and development. 

7. Should the supervisors continue leasing the second floor of the Smithfield Library to Paul D. Camp Community College at no cost? Why or why not?

Yes, continuing to lease to the Camp College folks is an investment in education. Dr. McCray, President of Camp Community College, is a breath of fresh air to this organization. His leadership, along with the Camp College Board, Isle of Wight County School Board, and Superintendent working together, will be a great fit to serve the students of Isle of Wight County. The Lab Schools are necessary, and this partnership serves a solid educational purpose.

8. Should the supervisors move forward with plans to install automated speed cameras at the county’s school zones? Why or why not?

This is a controversial topic as it is seen from a monetary standpoint. I believe that we stand with Sheriff Clarke in that our children’s safety is why this is even looked at. We have appreciated his professional expertise as our Sheriff in leading this conversation with the Board of Supervisors. If a solution is found, and should it produce any income, I think those funds should be designated for our Isle of Wight County Public Schools and not a way to pad the coffers.