Business

Kiger brings business savvy, not just education, to board

KIGER

Blake Kiger brings a business perspective, not just an education perspective, to the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners. The newly appointed Harrisburg resident—and former Board of Education member—is the principal at Simon-Meyer Construction Consultants in Charlotte.

The company provides third-party construction consultant services to clients in lending, development and property ownership.

He said he is solidly behind economic development incentives for companies expanding or moving to Cabarrus, explaining that tax incentives bring jobs that support families and long-term ratables which help pay for schools.

This was a major issue back in 2013 when the County Commission voted 3-2 against incentives  for Windshear. The company was turned down for an $89,250 tax break on a proposed $5 million expansion that would have created seven to 10 jobs with an average salary of $30 an hour.

Commissioners Jason Oesterreich, Chris Measmer and Larry Burrage voted against the incentives. The trio of anti-incentive commissioners were all voted out, of course, and pro-business leaders took their place.

Kiger said his experience on the Board of Education will help him make better decisions on the county’s board of commissioners. Education spending comprises the bulk of county spending

“At the end of the day, North Carolina used to be a leader in public education but that has slipped. Funding certainly plays a role in getting back to where we need to be but so does innovation, technology, leadership and creativity,” Kiger said.

Kiger replaces Grace Mynatt, 81, who also served on the Cabarrus Board of Educations. She said she wants take on new hobbies and experiences, and spend time with her family.

Kiger, a University of Georgia graduate, said one of the role models in his life was Tommy Cannon, the former basketball and golf coach at Benedictine Military School in Savannah, where he grew up.

A licensed general contractor, Kiger was elected to the board of education in 2010, serving as chair in 2014. He also served on the Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks Commission and Harrisburg Parks and Recreation Master Plan Committee.

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