NC Deep Dive

Annie Drees: Running for the 2 Year Unexpired Term Seat for the Holly Springs Board of Commissioners aka Town Council

September 23, 2023 Amanda Lunn
NC Deep Dive
Annie Drees: Running for the 2 Year Unexpired Term Seat for the Holly Springs Board of Commissioners aka Town Council
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how an electrical engineer would approach town planning? Meet Annie Drees, a vibrant individual determined to bring about positive change in the town of Holly Springs. Annie, who is currently running for the Board of Commissioners' Two Year Unexpired Term Seat, brings her unique perspective to tackle the town’s challenges. From discussing her first-hand experience with the town's rapid growth to sharing her family's story of moving to Holly Springs in 2017, Annie offers an authentic glimpse into the heart of this captivating small town.

Annie Dries combines her engineering intellect with a strong knack for problem-solving to tackle issues of land development, taxes, and amenities. Tune in to discover how this dedicated community member plans to navigate important decisions, champion accessibility, and keep Holly Springs thriving.

Website - Annie Drees for Holly Springs (anniedrees4hollysprings.com)
Email - Annie4HollySprings@gmail.com
Phone - (984) 600-1289
Annie 4 Holly Springs | Facebook
Annie Drees (@annie4hollysprings) • Instagram photos and videos
Candidate Finance Reports

Campaign Finance Reports for All Candidate Committees
Voter Information
--Register to Vote
--Voter Info (Designated Polling Places, Sample Ballots, Registration Status, Voting Jurisdiction, Verify Address and Party Affiliation)
--Election Information
 --Election Day Voting FAQs
 
--Absentee by Mail FAQs

Early Voting Locations
October 19th-November 4th
Wake County Board of Elections Office: 1200 N. New Hope Rd., Raleigh, 27610

October 28th-November 4th
 --Avery Street Recreation Center: 125 Avery St., Garner, 27529
--John M. Brown Community Center: 53 Hunter St., Apex, 27502

ELECTION DAY
Tuesday, November 7th from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM

Support the show

As always, if you are interested in being on or sponsoring the podcast or if you have any particular issues, thoughts, or questions you'd like explored on the podcast, please email NCDeepDive@gmail.com. Your contributions would be greatly appreciated.

Now, let's dive in!

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Hello friends, you are listening to the Holly Springs Deep Dive Podcast, soon to be called the NC Deep Dive. I am your host, Amanda Benbow Lunn, and today I am honored to be speaking with Annie Drees as part of our candidate segment for the 2023 Municipal Election for the town of Holly Springs. Annie is running for the two year unexpired term seat for the Board of Commissioners for Holly Springs, also known as Town Council. She will be running against Scoop Green, Travis Groo, and Brian Norman. You will have the choice to vote for one of these candidates on your ballot in the municipal election. As with all the candidate podcasts, I am taking their introductions directly from their website as an effort to be as fair and non-biased as possible. Annie is committed to her community and she wants to drive some positive change in Holly Springs. Annie and her family moved to Holly Springs in 2017. Since that time, she has been involved with a number of non-profit organizations, like Carolina Roller Girls, Girl Scouts: The NC Coastal Pines, Dorcas Ministries, the Carying Place, and the Holly Springs Food Cupboard. From these experiences, she has seen firsthand some of the struggles that are affecting us as a community. This made her want to make a bigger difference in our community, which led her to announce her candidacy for Town Council this year. As secretary on her HOA board, she has been confronted with some complex problems in her large neighborhood. She organized an election committee to address concerns from her neighbors on how to run an online election fairly and transparently. She also created a neighborhood email with news and information to improve information accessibility. Annie is an electrical engineer, which really speaks to how she solves problems. She is patient and dispassionate. When faced with an issue, the best solution isn't typically the first one that comes to mind. Doing her research and evaluating solutions from multiple points of view, she believes is the best way to resolve issues for the larger community. As a mom, Annie has watched her children grow with the town. The issues this town is confronting aren't so different from the ones that her teenagers are facing. In both scenarios, the decisions we make today have the potential to set us up for success in our community as a whole. With the rapid growth we are seeing in Holly Springs, we need to take advantage of these opportunities with long term planning. Join Annie and she'll work with you together for the positive change in Holly Springs. Without further ado, friends, let's dive in. Alright. What does democracy mean to you?

Annie Drees:

To me, democracy means everyone having an equal input into the decisions that are made regarding our governance. Amanda Benbow Lunn (Host): How long have you lived in the area? Annie Drees (Guest): So I have been in Holly Springs for six years. I'm originally from Austin, Texas, and after I graduated from college, my husband and I we moved back to Austin. We lived there about ten years and then we moved to the Harrisburg Pennsylvania area and we were there about a year and a half and from there you didn't know you were getting into a whole spiel. From there we moved to Madison, Alabama, outside of Huntsville, and we were there five years and then we moved here. So quite the traveling family.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

My parents were in the military, so I understand the living in a multitude of locations.

Annie Drees:

Well, it's interesting to me because my husband and I we both grew up in the same community and K through 12 lived in the same place with kind of the same group of people and after we got married we kind of decided we're just gonna, we're gonna roll with it, we're gonna see what opportunities come in and just be open to to living new places and seeing different things. So that's how we got here.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

That's awesome because you get to learn just; you get to learn more by adventuring and seeing what other people live like, wherever they are, and how the cultures vary, so I love that you got to the opportunity to do that.

Annie Drees:

Yeah, sometimes when you say you're from somewhere, like when I say I'm from Texas sometimes you can see in people's faces like, oh, this is what you know, this is what I think of Texans as you know, and I think the good thing about living so many different places is you realize that every community is diverse. You know, there's not one Texan, not one North Carolinian. So yeah, it's been, it's been a good experience for us.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Excellent! Why have you decided to run for town council?

Annie Drees:

So many reasons. To be honest with you. You know, it's kind of the culmination of a bunch of things. When we first moved here, I skated roller derby with the Carolina Roller Girls. I was on their board of directors and co-captain for a time, and you know, three practices a week for a couple of hours, and you know, and then you would have your game schedule. It's this massive investment of time and it was hard on my body and so eventually I hung up my skates and I just found myself with all this free time. So I kind of threw myself into a number of different volunteer opportunities. I've been a volunteer with the Caring Place for two years that works with housing insecure families and Holly Springs Food Cover, as well as Dorcas Ministries, Girl Scouts, a number of things, and then for the past year and a half I've been on my neighborhood HOA and I just found that I have this desire to do more for my community, to be a part of things on a larger scale, and I thought this was the right time.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Awesome! Let's say you win your election as a member of the town council, do you feel your job to make important decisions should be based solely on your own thoughts, your political parties thoughts or, as representative as possible, of every single one of your constituents and why?

Annie Drees:

Okay, that's a great question. I was actually thinking about this on an HOA level today, okay, so I'm going to give you a crazy analogy. I've been working on stopping me if I get in too deep, but I was thinking about the HOA board and how. You know the HOA board, we pay a monthly fee to have our dog poo canisters empty. You know, and that's something we pay regularly. And to the HOA board it just happens. But to the HOA homeowner who has a dog, who walks their dog every day, who walks by these poo stations, they know every day when that station is full, they know every week when that station didn't get emptied. And that's something that maybe the people on the HOA board, if they don't have dogs, if they don't regularly walk the neighborhood, they don't know. Right, that's not something they see regularly. So that's my analogy. On Town Council, I had to bring it to dog poo, but on Town Council there are points of view you cannot know. I have a limited perspective of what my day-to-day is like. I have two teenage kids, I work from home, take my kids to Taekwondo. I have a sphere, but it's only a piece and I think there are groups, different groups, different people who live here, who see different pieces of Holly Springs than I do, who are faced with different realities in their day-to-day. And being kind of tied into the communities within Holly Springs is a very big piece of what we do on Town Council. Right, Because I can only see so much but everybody has a different point of view that contributes. So very long answer to your question. But I believe that Town Council should represent the multitude of people who live in Holly Springs and their varied points of view, whether they're dog walkers or on the HOA board.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Awesome. And how do you intend to gather input from the community before casting important decisions?

Annie Drees:

That's a great question and that's something I'm still trying to grapple with is the appropriate way to integrate myself. There are listening sessions. I know the town just recently yesterday morning I think had a meeting to invite feedback about the Parks and Rec Plan. I think that's very important. Also, Town Council members are assigned different committees that they interact with. I also think on a larger scale, like the Wake County Public School Board, I think, also speaking, even speaking outside of our community, hearing what's going on in Apex and Fuquay. There are fixed city lines, but the reality is our municipality is fluid in that what happens next door can affect us as well. So I'm open. I'm open to meeting with people. I'm open to sitting on committees. I'm open to hosting events as a town, inviting feedback. I think it's very important that, as a Town Council member, that I'm available and I'm accessible to anybody who's got a strong opinion.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Awesome. And what do you believe are Holly Springs's strengths?

Annie Drees:

I haven't quite been able to put my finger on this, but when I moved to Holly Springs you know I told you I've moved all over, this was the first place that to me really felt like home, and it's hard to wrap my arms around the why of it. I love that we have people from all over. I love that we're a welcoming community. I love that we're a community focused around family. You know, I think those are wonderful aspects of Holly Springs, besides it being a beautiful, beautiful town. I'm a big fan of the tall trees and the hills and so I would say all of those pieces combined create this je ne sais quoi about Holly Springs that makes it feel like home for me.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Yeah, I know what you're talking about. There's that magic piece. Like that was the first place that I felt like I had roots and like it was important for me to get involved in the community and it just it had that feeling of home. Sometimes, a place just calls to you.

Annie Drees:

I'm a long way from my family and I don't mind it here in the way that I have minded at other places somehow.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

What do you believe are Holly Springs's weaknesses?

Annie Drees:

Holly Springs is growing rapidly I mean; it's not the same town it was 10 years ago and I think it's struggling to balance that growth, the influx of new people, with the people who've lived here a long time and establish its identity today as opposed to where it was before. So we're almost 50,000 people, which is crazy. I mean, even in the six years I've lived here, I've seen dramatic changes and growth and I think we're still trying to come to terms with that as a community. We're not a tiny little municipality, crossroads town anymore you know, we're growing quickly and how to stay a community together as we grow.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Many voters seem to be unhappy with the influx of growth in the area and its ramifications, like traffic and a lack of prepared infrastructure. What does sensible growth mean to you, and how do you intend to achieve it?

Annie Drees:

Yes, I absolutely hear that. I was thinking about when they closed, Pierce Olive, I don't know, it felt like a year. I don't think it quite was. And I calculated. I work from home and I, you know, the place I drive to most often is the Taekwondo studio that I go five times a week and I calculated, okay, it's two minutes a trip extra time, which is not very much two minutes extra time having this road closed, but I do it five times a week, so that's 10 minutes a week and just adding that up over months at a time, you know, I ended up in several hours of delay to my life and you know, at this point in my life I would say time is one of the most valuable resources I have. So I certainly sympathize and I have felt firsthand and I know traffic impacts a lot of people more severely than it does me who actually have to drive to work. So, yes, I feel those aches and pains very dearly. I would say yes, I'm interested in responsible growth. What does that mean to me? To me, a priority is improved sidewalks, bike lanes. Creating opportunities for people to walk and bike will reduce the traffic strain. Also working with new builders, new communities, to improve the sections of the road by them to streamline the traffic process. But I think we need a bird's eye view. We need to be looking from the top down and not just one community at a time, and come up with a strategic plan, looking at folks on all corners of Holly Springs, how they're affected by the changes that we're making and what that impact will be to those families.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Okay, what are ways you have served the town and its people prior to running for office?

Annie Drees:

Yeah, we always joke when I go anywhere with my husband that he has to hold my hand down as a repeat volunteer. Right now I help at the Holly Springs Food Cupboard with deliveries. I deliver every couple of weeks. The Carying Place helps the housing insecure families. It's a great program. If you haven't heard of it. We'll take in families that are housing insecure for about four months and they don't have to pay rent during that time. They just save and pay down loans, pay down debts, and that way they have this kind of bubble to build up some money. Residents learn some skills about how to create a spending plan for their family and look closely at where their money is going. So I've done that for about two years. I also have been involved with Holly Springs Middle School. I did a book drive there. Dorcas Ministries I volunteered there at their food cupboard and also a Girl Scout Leader for about a year here in Holly Springs and yeah, so those are the things that come to mind, but I'm always wanting to jump in and contribute to my community.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Have you ever been on any of the town's committees?

Annie Drees:

I have not.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Okay, have you been a consistent voter in town elections?

Annie Drees:

Yes, yes, I always love to vote.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

What are your areas of focus for your campaign?

Annie Drees:

One of the things that's most important to me it was important to me as an HOA board member and it's important to me as a town council person is being accessible and transparent. I think everything starts there. The second piece to that is building a community of inclusion, talking to everybody, looking for input from different folks within the community in the decision-making process. I think the more we can get the community at large involved in the business of town council, the better. We're better together, it's true. Also, like I said, thinking about our green spaces. I know we've talked briefly about the Parks and Rec Bond, and I think I'm a frequent runner, hiker, and park walker and so really these things matter to me on a personal level, and they matter to me because my kids are growing up in Holly Springs and I want these opportunities available to them as well. Those are all many aspects that I care deeply about.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

What does housing affordability mean to you and how will you address its lack?

Annie Drees:

Housing affordability is personal to me. As I said, as a volunteer at the Caring Place, I would see these families come in and work with them every week for months at a time and see the personal sacrifices they were making to pay off debts, to save, and then at the end of the program it was a real struggle to find that next place for them. They worked so hard and in some situations we just have to pass them off to another organization to help them further their way towards a place of their own. That was really hard. That was hard to watch and to see all those sacrifices, these folks working so hard, picking up every spare shift and not being able to find a place of their own To me. I would like to see the town pursue the housing affordability study that it did a couple years ago. A number of suggestions came out of that, none of which we have acted on or invested in. I would like to really explore those options that were given to us. One thing that I see that could really provide some insight is having a housing affordability committee that looks at new developments from the affordability point of view. What opportunities is this creating within Holly Springs? What gap is this filling, or is this more of the same? How much more of the same? How much difference? What does that do to our overall offerings of housing within Holly Springs? I think police officers, firemen, teachers, folks who work at the local restaurants and shops they should all be able to afford to live in Holly Springs.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

When making important decisions, sometimes you have to make compromises or choose the least sucky thing. In the following scenarios, which would you choose? Decreasing lot sizes of homes in order to allow a greater number of homes to be available at a lower price point, or increasing lot sizes to decrease the number of homes available. Lowering the environmental and traffic ramifications of having more people in a given area.

Annie Drees:

That is a tough one. In general, I'm a big fan of mixed housing opportunities, so some smaller lots as well as some bigger lots to facilitate different housing options within one community. I'll say that I think it's a hard question to answer without a where. Where is this development going? Because, you're right, traffic very much is a piece of that calculation. So if we're looking at a really heavily populated area that is already inundated with traffic problems, then this may not be the place for a series of town homes. So I would want to look carefully at the where and I have skillfully dodged your question, but not intentionally. I think it really depends on where that's going to go and what need we're trying to fill there. In general, I would want that information before I made that kind of decision. I should have warned you. I'm an engineer, so I like to do all data collection possible before I make a decision like that.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Yeah, we might be of the same mindset there. Okay, fair enough. All right, the next situation: would you choose having fewer amenities knowing many constituents may not be able to participate in those amenities because there's not enough space, in order to avoid raising the town's taxes? Or would you be more prone to thinking ahead and feel it might be better to raise the town's taxes to a certain point in order to be reasonably proactive with the growing population with amenities? There I am speaking towards public safety, police, fire department, as well as parks and rec.

Annie Drees:

So you bring up an interesting idea there, to my mind, about equity, about having these amenities and making sure they're equally accessible to everyone in the community, and I am personally interested in whether or not or how true that is for all pieces of Holly Springs, whether we do have the same access to emergency vehicles, the same speed, and whether our water quality is as good in all parts of Holly Springs and things like that. But I would say, of your two options, if I had to increase taxes a little bit to make sure that everyone had fair distribution of resources that are good resources that people want, then I'm okay with that, but I think it would have to be very thoughtfully done. Back to more data collection.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Yes, the last scenario, would you be more prone to allowing commercial property owners their rights to remove trees on their property or trying to maintain tree buffers to allay environmental concerns, aesthetics and cleaning the air, especially because of the landfill odors that we occasionally experience?

Annie Drees:

I was a Girl Scout as a child. I got my Girl Scout Gold Award. When I was a kid we would camp all the time. I am inclined to keep trees. I do understand that they can complicate things. I know in our neighborhood that's been an issue with roots upsetting sidewalks. So sometimes we may be in a situation where we should have a tree there, but maybe a different kind of tree. Not all trees are created equal, so in that scenario where it's a business that wants to cut down a tree, what I would argue for is can we replace the tree with something that's more appropriate?

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Okay, perfect. Is there a limit to what you feel may be reasonable if a situation warrants increasing taxes during your term?

Annie Drees:

Oh sure, yes, I mean, increasing taxes affects everybody, but it doesn't affect everybody at the same, and I think it goes back to when we were talking about increasing taxes, doing it thoughtfully. What is the impact to our community as a whole, and what are we gaining from these increases, and are we forcing people out? We want Holly Springs to be a place where people can afford to live and work. So, yes, we've got to be thoughtful in these steps. Yeah, okay.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Do you feel there are major areas where the town is inappropriately allocating resources?

Annie Drees:

No, I don't think; I'm not seeing something hugely out of whack as far as how the town is allocating resources, but I will say that that's an area that I continue to understand and investigate and analyze, so I reserve the right to change my mind. But from where I've been looking on what I've been reading, no.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Okay. Do you have any creative suggestions on where to get alternative funds for the town to support the town's growth?

Annie Drees:

Great question. I would love to see the town apply for more grants to seek out different opportunities within Wake County in North Carolina. I know we have in the past looked for national level support as well. I think there are opportunities available and I would like to see Holly Springs pursue a number of those in the next year.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Okay, many times people, including those who may be your fellow town council members, have varying opinions. How do you approach a situation when there is a major difference of opinion?

Annie Drees:

I'm a logical person so I always like to take emotion out of it, these kind of discussions that like to boil things down to where that difference of opinion lies without getting dramatic, or I don't think that's helpful when we're trying to find a middle ground. But making sure both sides have an opportunity to be heard and supply supporting evidence I'm also a big fan of. If there's something that can be done to see the basic point of contention, like how kids get to school, that's something we can go see. We can go show up before the school bell rings and watch and see the paths the kids take or the traffic. If the argument is based on a traffic at a certain location, well we can go investigate that. And I'm a big proponent of if you're telling me X and you're telling me Y, well let's get to the bottom of that with data, with facts, and even if we need to drive out there and sit in traffic for half an hour, let's do it to understand it.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Do you feel the town could be more inclusive? Annie Drees ( Guest): Yes. Amanda Benbow Lunn (Host): Do you feel all constituents are feeling like they are seen and heard when it comes to town matters and issues they may be facing, like discrimination?

Annie Drees:

No, no, I don't feel all members of the town are being heard.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Okay. Would you be willing to sign onto the Wake County's Non-Discrimination Ordinance? Why or why not?

Annie Drees:

Yes, I would. We are one of three municipalities in Wake County that have not signed on and I think it's gotten us a lot of negative attention. And looking at the facts, the first year the Wake County Non-Discrimination Ordinance was in effect, only five cases qualified for further steps, for that mediation step, and of those five only two went to mediation. And we're talking about, you know, Raleigh, Cary, Apex. These are all much bigger towns than we are and they can accommodate this Non-Discrimination Ordinance. I mean, Holly Springs is Holly Springs; it's not anywhere else. So if we need to make our own version of this, if there's a certain aspect that we need to make Holly Springs-centric, I'm open to that. But I believe that Holly Springs should sign a Non-Discrimination Ordinance, whether it's Wake County's or we have to write our own.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Have you gained any endorsements thus far, and if you gain more after the recording of this podcast, where might voters find that information?

Annie Drees:

Oh man, I'm going to have to update my webpage. So I have been endorsed by the Wake County Democratic Party. I do have some other options out there, so we'll see what happens with those, and you can find all my latest endorsements on my new and updated webpage, which I'm sure will be up by the time you hear this podcast.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

And what is that webpage?

Annie Drees:

It's Annie4 Holly Springs. com. Annie number four Holly Springs dot com.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

All right, perfect. So, in conjunction with that, where can listeners connect with you and find out all the latest information regarding your campaign?

Annie Drees:

Yes, I am on Facebook. I am on Instagram. This has involved me taking way more selfies than I'm comfortable with, which is like one a year. All under Annie number four Holly Springs. That's how you can find me and I welcome conversation. I welcome ideas. Somebody reached out to me about a park development and I was there this morning, so thanks for letting me know about that. I'm excited to hear what thoughts the residents of Holly Springs have about Holly Springs, what your point of view is.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Do you have any last thoughts you'd like to share with those voting in the upcoming election?

Annie Drees:

Just remember November 7th photo ID. Please get out there and vote, whether it's for me, whether it's for someone else, please vote. Your voice matters and really on the municipal level, is where you can make a difference. So get out there, be heard

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

So now I have a lightning round of questions. These are not politically based. There are no right or wrong answers, so you can just say whatever comes to mind first. What is your favorite book?

Annie Drees:

That's a hard question. The Sum of Us I just finished. I really enjoyed it a lot. But you know I also like Persuasion from Jane Austen and I was named after Anne in Persuasion and Anne of Green Gables, another classic.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

That is. Who is someone you look up to and view as a role model?

Annie Drees:

Gosh, it shouldn't take this long, should it? Does that make me a horrible human?

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Maybe you just have so many.

Annie Drees:

I'm always learning stuff from people around me. I am inspired by common acts of kindness that I see every day, of thoughtfulness. I'm always in the search to become a better person and any act of kindness I see is inspirational to me. All right.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

What's your favorite way to relax and let go?

Annie Drees:

Well, I meditate. I know I'm a nerd, but I meditate. I read, binge watch, I listen to podcasts. I'm like totally nerding out on being on a podcast right now as a personal bucket list check. That's amazing. So thank you.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

You're welcome. What's one thing that fills your heart with joy?

Annie Drees:

I should say my kids, and they do, but they're also teenagers, so they're absolutely moments of joy. But you know, I also have a sweet dog named Peanut and he gives me all kinds of joy because he always wants to spend time with me and my teenager,

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

What's your greatest weakness?

Annie Drees:

My greatest weakness is probably I care, I care, I like to dig deep and sometimes you have to say, okay, you know here's the line and this is the time to just stop. So sometimes I have a hard time turning that off.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

What was one thing you wished for as a kid?

Annie Drees:

Oh gee, what were they? Cabbage Pail kids.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

What's something on your bucket list?

Annie Drees:

Love to travel. My family and I, we went to South Africa, which was an amazing experience. And you say travel and I'm in, I'll pack bag, I'm ready to go. Just give me half an hour and let's go. It doesn't matter where. I can find joy anywhere, so just let me know when we're hitting the road and I'm there.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Awesome. And the last question what is your favorite thing about yourself?

Annie Drees:

Oh my gosh, I'm a good listener. I'm a good listener and the hard thing about being on campaign is everyone wants you to talk and I really appreciate the opportunities where I can just listen to folks and hear what's important to them and take action.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Well, thank you so much, Annie, for trusting me and being part of our candidate segment for our Holly Springs Deep Dive Podcast. I'd like to wish you the best of luck on your upcoming election.

Annie Drees:

It was a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me and I hope you get everyone on.

Amanda Benbow Lunn:

Thanks so much, Annie. Democracy is at the heart of all we hold dear. Our local governments have the influence to decide our community's priorities. These offices have a major impact on our daily lives and can have real consequences. They create and enforce local ordinances, fund our local fire and police departments, create the structure and ambiance of our communities and decide our local property taxes. Lower voter turnout in local elections means your vote has even more of an impact. Early voting starts October 19th at the Wake County Board of Elections and begins October 28th and will run through November 4th at the John M Brown Community Center in Apex and the Avery Street Recreation Center in Garner. During early voting, you may go to any of these early voting sites. Election Day will be Tuesday, November 7th. On Election Day, you have to go to your designated polling site. Please remember you will need a valid ID to vote. This year, the voter registration deadline is October 13th, though you may also be eligible to register at the voting sites during the early voting period. And that brings this episode of the Holly Springs Deep Dive Podcast, soon to be called the NC Deep Dive, to a close. Make sure you check out all the other relevant candidate episodes for the Board of Commissioners, also known as Town Council for Holly Springs, and Fuquay Varina at www. HollySpringsDeepDive. com, spotify, apple Podcasts, Audible or wherever you currently listen to your podcasts. I will include helpful links for each candidate and voting in general in their episode show notes on our website. If you have any thoughts or topics you'd like to share, you may do so through social media or via email at HollySpringsPodcast@ gmail. com. Thank you for engaging in today's episode and becoming a more informed citizen. Democracy is a team sport. Together, we make democracy work and our communities a better place to work, live and play. Your vote absolutely matters. Your voice absolutely matters. You, my friend, absolutely matter. Until next time, my friends namaste. The love and light in me sees and honors the love and light in you.

Annie Drees
Holly Springs
Important Decisions in Town Planning