Representatives in the seven-member Board of Commissioners make up the governing body of Forsyth County, with responsibilities that include adopting the annual County budget, setting the County property tax rate, establishing County policies and acting on zoning and other land use matters. The Board also appoints members of numerous citizen boards, committees and commissions. The race for Forsyth County is between Gull Riaz, Christopher Smith and Eric Weiss (Democratic Party), and David Plyler, Gloria Wisenhunt and Richard Linville (Republican Party). Three can be selected from this list.
David Plyler: (information obtained from the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners website)
Experience– “Plyler serves on the boards of Novant Health, YMCA of Northwest North Carolina and IFB Solutions and past board service includes the Governor’s Task Force on Osteoporosis, Forsyth County Board of Public Health, National Association of Counties (NACo), N.C. Association of County Commissioners, the National YMCA Board, N.C. Energy Policy Commission, Crimestoppers, Blumenthal Jewish Home for the Aged, Inc and Kernersville Lions Club.”
Accomplishments– “Plyler said he’s been proud of all the things he’s helped accomplish as county commissioner, like moving forward on the new courthouse, new libraries and school bonds.” Current Forsyth County Commissioner Chairman.
Gloria Wisenhunt: (information obtained from the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners website)
Experience– Serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties (NACo), is the current chair of Long Term Care on the NACo Health and Human Services Board and serves on the NACo Large Urban Counties Committee. A member of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Board of Directors and General Government Committee. A member of the Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority and Forsyth County Republican Women. Has also served on many other committees including the Forsyth County Emergency Management Advisory Council, Forsyth County Airport Authority/Smith Reynolds Airport, Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation, NC State Intergovernmental Committee, NC Risk Management Board of Trustees, Forsyth Hospital Board of Trustees, Piedmont Triad Research Park Board of Trustees, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority and was co-chair of the 2000-2001 NCACC Legislative Goals Committee. Accomplishments– Believes that during her time as a commissioner, relations with the school board have improved, and she’s been a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility in the county’s budget. She’s been deeply involved with health issues, as a member of the Department of Public Health’s board who now serves on the consolidated Human Services Board, which advises both Public Health and Social Services. She has also helped the county deal with drug addiction through programs like Stepping Up, which helps women with substance abuse and mental illness who’ve been incarcerated at the county jail.
Richard Linville: (information obtained from the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners website)
Experience– Experience includes the N.C. Association of County Commissioners Agricultural Committee, serving continuously as County Commissioner since 1980; Chairman 1985-1986, Transportation Advisory Council, and North Carolina Agricultural Steering Committee. Current commissioner of Forsyth County.
Gull Riaz: (information obtained from gullforfcc.com)
Experience– North Carolina certified paralegal in the Woodruff Family Law Group from 2018 to present. Platform– “Over the course of my life as a Forsyth resident, in addition through my experience in family law, I have gained a deep insight into the everyday struggles that families go through and have learned of challenges that we face at a county level. I want to put my efforts into addressing those challenges. I look forward to earning your trust”
Christopher Smith: (information obtained from chrissmithforcommish.com)
Platform– Will be an advocate for innovative solutions and a fiscally responsible method of funding, county-wide economic development that lifts up our communities, and increased transparency and communication [between County Commissioners]. Will be an advocate for strengthening our tactics, training and procedures for disaster response in the wake of COVID-19 to ensure we have continued plans to support the livelihoods of the citizens and small businesses that will be recovering.
Eric Weiss: (information obtained from weiss4syth.net)
Housing– Will establish a Community Land Trust (CLT) so that the people can own the land, creatively utilize county owned properties to add housing and give the code enforcement division more power so there are consequences when landlords do not maintain their properties.
Zoning- Will Listen to and empower county employees to improve the systems, work with the City of W-S to establish a form based zoning code and invest in multimodal transportation options.
Racial Justice– Will implement systemic change in the racist systems of government, listen and incorporate the demands of Black leaders in Forsyth County and defund the Sheriff’s office to invest in alternatives.
Public Education– Will end de facto segregation in the schools, rapidly bring all schools’ physical facilities to a state of good repair and increase teacher pay.
LGBTQ Community– Will address systemic homophobia in the policies and institutions of Forsyth County, support queer owned businesses and organizations in Forsyth County.
Climate Change– Will end the dominance of the car as the only method of transportation, install solar panels that can pay for themselves in all county facilities and redirect money for roads to walking, cycling and public transport.
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