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Landis attorney Locklear files for commissioner seat

A Landis attorney, and registered Democrat, has entered the race for a seat on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.

In his first run for public office, Rick Locklear is hoping individuals, companies and corporations will find Rowan County attractive when they are looking at locating to the area.

Locklear, 57, said he has been a county resident since 1974 when he attended Catawba College.

“I’ve always had an interest in government, and I’d like to see it functioning efficiently,” Locklear said. “I would have preferred to wait until my daughter was out of high school (to run), but Rowan County is at a critical crossroads right now.

Locklear worked as a regional planner with the North Carolina Councils of Governments, where he said his role was to work with small town boards and help them get involved in land-use planning.

“I would work to develop long-term strategies and planning for growth,” Locklear said.

Locklear worked as a regional planner for two years before entering Wake Forest Law School in 1984.

When a prospective industry is looking to locate to the area, Locklear said, the business wants to know there is a stable local government.

“Government should be for a limited purpose, and that purpose is to do those things that private industry cannot,” Locklear said.

Regarding the conflict between the school board and commissioners, Locklear said he would like to see more transparency in the matter.

“The county has an obligation to fund education,” Locklear said.

If school board members feel the county is not fulfilling that obligation, Locklear said, laws and procedure dictate the only avenue is to pursue a lawsuit.

“If not, then the (Rowan County Board of Commissioners) can do whatever they want without being challenged,” Locklear said. “We really need to question whether we are committing the kinds of resources that are needed, and if we are getting into other things that are detracting away from the school system.”

Locklear and his wife, Charlene, live in Landis and have two daughters.

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