David Bissette’s decision to challenge two-term Mayor Vivian Jones came about slowly.
“Public service . . . it’s something that’s been on my heart and my mind for a while,” he said this week. Then last year he traveled to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Rally for the Republic sponsored by the Campaign for Liberty and imbibed more of then-presidential candidate Ron Paul’s fiscally conservative message.
Those ideas resonated with Bissette, who came home to Wake Forest concerned that those concepts of liberty and freedom are being lost in North Carolina and in Wake Forest.
The final spur, though, was a an editorial comment in The Wake Forest Gazette, saying Jones might run unopposed this year as she did four years ago. Only one choice for mayor is no choice at all Bissette says in his website, http://davidformayor.com.
Bissette is very concerned that a lot of dire, even catastrophic, events are just over the horizon. He raises chickens and rabbits and has a vegetable garden at his South Main Street home.. “What I’m doing here at my house is a lot of research and observation. I want to be able to feed my family in the event that the dollar loses its purchasing power.
“I am very concerned that what is happening on the federal level is going to affect Wake Forest on a negative level,” Bissette said. Those federal activities include “printing money like it is going out of style.
“I think we are going to see stagflation similar to what we saw in the 1970s with high interest rates.” Bissette says he talks with his uncle, Joe “Skeet” Stroud, who tells him that when the college left town in 1956 it “dang near bankrupted the town. I think we are going to see that kind of depression of growth in the area.”
Bissette’s mantra is sustainability. “My goal is to teach the residents of Wake Forest to support themselves, to create an environment of self-sustainability, self-support.”
He would like to see Wake Forest become a Transition Town, working toward a local economy, local food, local schools and even locally-generated electricity, at least in part. You can read more about that on his website
He is also a strong advocate of fiscal responsibility: “Don’t buy stuff you cannot afford. First you save the money, then you spend the money. What works for people, what works for businesses, should work for government as well.”
Bissette talked about several bubble that are about to burst or have – the commercial real estate bubble, the dollar bubble, the oil bubble and the global economy bubble. “I think we’re about to see that petroleum bubble pop. I want to teach Wake Forest to support itself.
“I think this is a beautiful opportunity for people to return to the way they’re supposed to live,” he said.
Bissette, who has been a teacher at Ligon Middle School, later employed first at IBM and then as the e-bay guy at Ship-on-Site, now sells the plans for his Catawba Coop chicken housing on line. He has time to observe around town.
“I watch the buses a lot and see the amount of people who ride the bus,” very few, Bissette said, and he thinks it is because the loop bus, which circles clockwise through town every hour, is “really inconvenient.” Also, he has seen the bus driver complete the loop within 20 minutes because no riders were at the stops, drive back to the park-and-ride lot and talk on his/her cell phone for 40 minutes.
“My idea is to find some good used mini-vans, put on some stickers and have two running opposite loops. Anybody would be within 15 to 20 minutes of getting a ride. You could do the whole loop for $86,000 and run on Saturday. Our buses don’t currently do that, and that makes lots of people angry.”
Bissette, his wife, Mitzi, and their three daughters – Anna, 11, Katelyn, 9, and Sarah, 6 – live in the brick house that his great-grandfather, Thomas Stroud, built. Both his great-grandfather and his grandfather were ministers. Bissette grew up in Hickory and spent his summers in Wake Forest; he and his family moved here on Valentine’s Day in 1999.
Filing for the November election begins July 6. Along with the mayor’s position, voters will fill two commissioner seats now held by Frank Drake and Margaret Stinnett. Stinnett appears to considering a run for a second term; Drake has not made any comments or commitments.
Just so you are all confused, there will be a second election this fall, this one in October, for municipal races in Raleigh and Cary and to elect members of the Wake County School Board. So far, Chris Malone of Wake Forest, Rita Rakestraw of Knightdale and Debbie Vair of Rolesville are the candidates for the seat Lori Millberg now holds. She will not seek a second term.
The October election is apparently held so that if there is the need for a run-off in any race, which has happened, that can be held at the same time as the November election.