Arp says he is ready for Raleigh
Former Board of Education Chairman Dean Arp is excited about his upcoming commute to Raleigh.
He is the Republican candidate in the uncontested race to represent the 69th district in the N.C. House of Representatives.
"We're excited about the opportunity," Arp said. "(I am) humbled and honored to serve."
Arp added that he understands the truth people have put in him and "I don't take that lightly." He travels to Raleigh with a few goals in mind.
"I certainly have a couple of ideas," Arp said. "I believe that tax policy and so forth are going to be very much in the forefront. That and education, are probably the two main focuses of the legislature in the coming year."
"I think we want to bring back a confidence in the government," he said.
His philosophy is one of conservativeness and limited government.
Arp said he hopes lower spending, then work on the revenue side with tax reform to target a lower spending limit.
"I just really want to work to see small businesses flourish," Arp said. "That's what I want to be a part of."
Arp also believes that voter identification legislation will be an issue.
Arp's time on the Union County Board of Education will give him insight into education policy, he said.
"We have a successful program," Arp said.
However, he added, the success is not because of policy.
"(The) reality is the success of Union County has been the leadership," Arp said. He credits teachers, principals and superintendents. "There's just no substitute for leadership."
Arp believes that successful districts like Union County should be "rewarded" with less interference from Raleigh, in order to be innovative and a "think tank" to find ideas that work, he said.
Systems that are not doing as well should continue to work with oversight from Raleigh, he added.
Arp said he is willing to work with members of the Democratic party.
"There are certain issues that we can work on together," he said. "What we can agree on is the principles of what we're doing."
Some of those issues include fostering a positive environment for small businesses, increasing revenues and examining the tax code, he said.
"We still have a huge problem with the unemployment insurance," Arp said. "That's broken. That's a serious problem. It's going to be hard...to fix, but we shouldn't shrink from our responsibilities."
"I hope the Democrats will work with us on some of these reforms," Arp said.
Arp is the owner and president of Arp Engineering in Monroe.