Nick Picerno Files for Commissioner
Nick Picerno chose his 52nd birthday to file as a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
Picerno is seeking the seat held by Board Chairman Colin McKenzie, who is not expected to file for re-election. He is the second Republican to file for the District 2 seat so far in the filing period. Nancy Roy Fiorillo, the current chairwoman of the county planning board and former county planning director, is also seeking that seat.
"I see the county at a critical juncture. Voters see the need for more schools, for jail improvements and county buildings," Picerno said Wednesday when he paid his filing fee at the Board of Elections office in Carthage. "We need a lot of things, and we have to pay for them. We can find a way to pay for them without raising taxes or imposing new taxes."
In retirement, Picerno said he has plenty of time to devote to county business and also has years of experience in financial planning and business operations, qualities that he sees as assets for his candidacy.
Asked if his close association with another county commissioner, Larry Caddell, would create an awkward relationship on the board if he is elected, Picerno said he doesn't see how it could. The candidate says he is no longer active in managing Southern Software and his association is usually confined to periodic board meetings and nothing else.
"Technically, I don't even own any stock in Southern Software," he said. "I wanted the kids to own the stock."
Picerno explained that "the kids" are his employees, not his own children. He calls them "kids" because many employees went to work at the company straight out of school and were very young at the time. Southern Software is now owned by company employees, who own 100 percent of the stock. Caddell, who lives at Carthage, is one of those employees and serves as chief executive officer.
Picerno said that he and his wife, the former Jan Medlin of Cameron, have never lived anywhere except Moore County and are concerned about the well-being of the county and its people. They now live near Seven Lakes.
"We can meet the county's needs without going after people's money," he said.
A semi-retired businessman, Picerno is the founder of Southern Software, a computer programming company based in Southern Pines. He is officially retired from Southern Software but continues to serve as chairman of the board.
This is Picerno's first venture into the political arena. He claims no political connections and does not even have a campaign manager at this point. However, he says he has someone in mind for that position.
"We're very new at this," he said. "I've got to go home and read this book (regulations, requirements and campaign finance law supplied by the Board of Elections to all candidates)."
Picerno said he is confident the book won't give him a problem.
"After all, I did learn how to program computers," he said.
Although he has never been politically active, Picerno said he is interested in county government.
"I do vote," he said.
A Moore County native, Picerno grew up in Carthage and graduated from Union Pines High School in 1974. He is a 1978 graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor's degree in science education.
Picerno taught school one year, then worked several years in business with Archie Kelly.
This was the era when the personal computer was coming into its own and Picerno said he realized he had a special gift for this new technology. He taught a few classes at Sandhills Community College, and this experience led to formation of what evolved into Southern Software, established in 1988.
Picerno is an active member of Seven Lakes Baptist Church, where he is a deacon, teaches in the Sunday School and serves in the Worship Band.
He and his wife have three children, daughters Jennifer and Samantha and son Joey, and three grandchildren. Samantha is a student at Campbell University, and the other two are grown and married.
The Picernos have lived in McLendon Hills, near Seven Lakes, since 2000.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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