The forum, sponsored by the Orange County Democratic Party, took place at the Village Diner in Hillsborough.
Andy Cagle, Matt Hughes and Mark Marcoplos, running for the at large seat on the board, discussed their community involvement and their thoughts on issues facing the county.
Renee Price, incumbent, and Bonnie Hauser are competing for the open seat representing District 2 on the board.
Cagle, an environmental contractor, said his involvement in construction, agriculture and emergency services qualifies him for a seat on the board.
“You will see me in your community,” Cagle said.
Hughes, former chairperson of the Orange County Democratic Party, said he was running because Orange County is his home and he wants it to continue to be affordable for its residents.
“I know affordable housing because I grew up in substandard housing,” Hughes said.
Marcoplos, owner of Marcoplos Construction, said he has been involved in the county for decades and hopes to continue his work in energy efficient development, affordable housing and living wage standards as a county commissioner.
“I’m 62 years old. I’m not running to start a political career,” Marcoplos said
Marcoplos said one way to generate income for the county is involve the agriculture sector in the production of hemp.
“It’s now legal to grow industrial hemp in North Carolina,” Marcoplos said.
Price, who has served on the board since 2012, cited milestones she helped achieve while on the board, including the Cedar Grove Community Center set to open in March, new rural and urban bus routes and the updated sewer system.
Price said her experience in city planning and her involvement in the community was evidence of her responsiveness as a county commissioner.
“I think we are open to what you have to say,” Price said.
Hauser, who has a background in business, said she wanted to improve school funding and bring in more businesses and jobs.
She said her love of financial records has helped her understand how the county spends their money and would help her as a commissioner, especially concerning the affordable housing allotment of the possible $120 million bond.
“What’s missing is we don’t have a plan for affordable housing,” Hauser said.