Robin Cape

Robin Cape

Age: 48
Residence: North Asheville
Occupation: musician
Years in Asheville: 17
Education: studied art & literature at UNCA and UNC-Chapel Hill
Political party: Democrat
Political experience: Woodfin Water Board since 2003

1. Should the city or a regional authority own the water system?

“The city.”

2. Do you agree with the decision to hold closed meetings concerning the Water Agreement, such as last April’s city/county mediation session?

“No.”

3. Is the Asheville Police Department’s current citizen-complaint process adequate?

“NO.”

4. Would you ever support using eminent domain other than for public-works projects? Under what circumstances?

“No, I do not believe that government should subsidize private development in this manner.”

5. City staff have documented several recent cases of developers violating the Unified Development Ordinance or conditions of their permits, but no fines have been issued. Should these rules be more strictly enforced?

“Absolutely.”

6. What, specifically, would you recommend doing with the Asheville Civic Center?

“Repair and … remodel. … Make it more user-friendly … and more of an asset. … [Evaluate] … business practices to ensure that we are running an efficient and effective venue. … Offer shuttle services from boundary parking lots to the Civic Center for large events.”

7. Name one thing the current City Council should be proud of, and one thing it should be ashamed of.

“We should be proud of the current Council for understanding the importance of the Water Department and working to return it to our city control. We should be discouraged by their treatment of citizen concerns surrounding neighborhood and mixed-use UDO violations that have gone unenforced.”

8. An N.C. DOT study indicates that six lanes can accommodate the projected traffic on the I-26 connector. What, if anything, would you do to prevent the DOT from building an eight-lane connector?

“I will work hard to keep six lanes on the front burner, supporting the Asheville I-26 Connector Group and their efforts. I support growing our own multimodal transportation options to reduce the need for more lanes.”

9. Name one positive trend downtown, and one negative trend.

“A positive trend is the growing number of locally owned businesses and community involvement. A negative trend is the increase in disruptive transients, the proposed parking deck and threats to our historical buildings.”

10. What can Asheville do to cope with high energy prices and projected energy shortages in the coming years?

“Enhance the frequency, extend the schedule and reduce the lengths of bus routes. … Fund pedestrian and bikeways initiatives, create park-and-ride shuttle options. … Recycling and energy-conservation efforts in all city facilities, alternative-fuel … city vehicles, and [perhaps] a sustainability-and-efficiency [staff] position. … [Establish] a citywide policy on ‘green building.’”

11. Would you support increasing the local hotel/motel room tax? Why or why not?

“Yes. It is important to our local economy that we utilize this option. We have many visitors who would not be deterred by a room tax, and we could use this money to offset local property-tax demands.”

12. What political figure from the past or present do you most wish to emulate?

“Wangari Maathai, because she represents for me the effectiveness of local actions in response to world problems. We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill — those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind.”

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