Here are the answers Daniel Cross gave to the Rankin County News
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I truly believe in the importance of service to others. We are not here just to make a living, we are truly obligated to make this world a better place than we found it. I have spent my youth and adulthood in this district and have personallyexperienced its transformation from a sparsely populated community to a heavily populated and rapidly expanding economy with all the inherent problems associated with that growth. Over the years I have witnessed good leadership and poor leadership exercised by our elected officials and never cease to be amazed at the wide divergence of the outcomes they produce. Things move much faster now. We need bold, mature and courageous leadership- leaders who cannot be bought, bartered or badgered by special interests bullies. I believe I offer the talents of a long time first responder who has dealt with large public budgets, who has developed skills in allocating scarce resources to the highest priority needs, who has personally negotiated with legislators for better laws, who is intimately familiar with the public infrastructure of this district, who knows first- hand the importance of reducing crime, who has directly been involved in lowering our fire insurance rates, and is fully committed to keeping our roads and bridges modernized, our water and sewer systems efficiently maintained, and our property values protected.
What jobs have you had that qualify you for public office.
When I was barely old enough to qualify I became a volunteer firefighter for the Reservoir Fire District. While still in high school I learned the location of every roadway, utility instillation, subdivision, fireplug, pumping station, and electricalgrid in the district. After graduation from Northwest Rankin High School, I attended Mississippi State University, thentransferred to the University of Memphis my final two years to complete my B.S. degree in Fire Administration. I have advanced in my profession to Chief Instructor in charge of the National Fire Protection Association certification of firefighters throughout Mississippi. During recent years I have graduated from the law enforcement training academy and serve as a reserve Deputy Sheriff in Rankin County. I have crossed every bridge and traversed every road in Rankin County in performance of these duties. I have pulled people out of burning cars and homes, personally taken violent criminals to the ground, and performed life- saving CPR on numerous occasions as an emergency medical technician. I have worked with some of the most dedicated and honorable people imaginable who put their lives on the line daily to protect their fellow citizens of this great county. I know personally, and work very effectively with, our state legislators and many other county officials on a daily basis to improve our county. I have worked hard to help locate and continually fund a burn center in Rankin County, the only one in our state.
What would you like the voters to know about you?
First of all the voters need to know that I will bring honor and dignity to this office if elected. I am a Christian, a member of Pine Lake Baptist Church, and I strongly believe that the best blueprint we can furnish our youth is the example we set in our own daily lives. We should demonstrate to them that public service is a privilege that should never be abused and those who are given the honor of the public trust should reflect a very high standard of morality. Our actions should attract others to seekpublic service instead of providing them with a source ofridicule. With two small children to raise in this district I have a lot of skin in the game and I want to provide increasing opportunities for them to excel and become the best they can be in life. So you won’t find me in bars, places of nuisance, or among questionable associates. You will find me on the youth baseball fields, in public forums enhancing our county, in church gatherings, community picnics, graduations, firehouses, police stations, with military members and their families, or with my wife and two boys. These are the places that replenish my soul and orient my moral compass.
Do you plan to keep your full time job if elected? Talk about your yes or no answer.
I am very blessed to have a job that allows me lots of flexibility and three days off each week. I suppose I could quit and do just one thing and be more comfortable and less tired. But I am seeking the opportunity to offer my talents toward more public service, not less. Let put this in a little different perspective. The office of county supervisor was created as a part time job. Over ninety- five per cent of the supervisors throughout our state have other jobs, including the other elected supervisors of Rankin County. Our Congress was also designed this way by the founding fathers, who intended for the representatives of this great country to live and work in their districts and be part- time lawmakers so they would personally experience the full effect of the laws they made. Congress has since morphed into a full time, overpaid job, which keeps them in Washington, comfortably away from their constituents most of the time, and you see how that has turned out.
I believe supervisors should work in the county they supervise, so they will fully experience the consequences of the decisions they make. They should interface daily in the work place with the very people who are affected by their decisions. They should experience the snarling traffic jams on the way to work and back, they should hit the same potholes and go across the same bridges. I want to come to a supervisor’s meeting fully informed, but also tired, just like the voters who elected me, because they come home tired and many have to go to other part time jobs just to make ends meet. I may not be the best dressed at those meetings and may be a little sweaty, not having had an afternoon nap and shower, but I will be better suited to make critical decisions that affect you. This is because I believe that my current job would make me a much more effective supervisor. It develops strong leadership, it keeps me sharp on budgeting finite resources. It daily hones my skills in prioritizing and differentiating the important things form the trivial. It places me in a forum where I interface with hundreds of people each day, most all from our county, giving me access to invaluable feedback. So if the electorate is looking for some sort of time card puncher or clock watcher to do just one thing only, I am probably not your man. Maybe we have too many of those types in government already. No, give me the greater load, let me do all I can, and I will go home tired, just like you, after a twelve or sixteen hour day- but I will sleep very soundly, knowing I have done all I can do to serve others.
What do you bring to the office?
I bring twenty- one years of public service, coupled with a passionate desire to better this county. I bring a strong vigilanceto purge county budgets from waste. I bring a commitment toproperly allocate our resources where they are most effective. We have sufficient revenue coming in if we develop disciplinein its allocation. I am tired of the age old solution of just raising taxes as the easiest means to fulfill budget requests. I am a Republican, and a very conservative one at that. I have witnessed the effect of property taxes going up while property values go down. I pledge that I will not vote to raise anyone’s taxes if it cannot be proven to me that we are using the most efficient allocation of the resources we already have.
I have ridden many times with law enforcement officers whose agency could not afford to buy them a bullet proof vest because the dollars went to buy furniture for some county official’s office. I have gone into burning buildings with fire departments who did not have infrared cameras that would allow them to see through the thick smoke and rescue the inhabitants because the small amount of money needed to purchase them went for amore comfortable truck or car for a county employee. I have seen precious county dollars go for comfortable buildings and facilities before first ensuring the safety of our roads and bridges.
I will bring to this office a spirit of new, bold and courageous leadership for our county, not just business as usual.