Residence: North Asheville
Years in Asheville: About 60
Education: B.A. in political science and law degree (both UNC-Chapel Hill)
Political party: Democrat
Political experience: One term as mayor plus three terms on City Council
1. Should the city or a regional authority own the water system?
“It should be a city-owned system.”
2. Do you agree with the decision to hold closed meetings concerning the Water Agreement, such as last April’s city/county mediation session?
“Yes, given the nature of mediation.”
3. Is the Asheville Police Department’s current citizen-complaint process adequate?
“I believe it is.”
4. Would you ever support using eminent domain other than for public-works projects? Under what circumstances?
“Eminent domain should be used very sparingly. It is difficult to imagine using it for other than public-works projects (and even then, only if the negotiation process seeks every possible resolution).”
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?
“The UDO should always be enforced.”
6. What, specifically, would you recommend doing with the Asheville Civic Center?
“Renovating it as a multi-use facility, including a performing-arts venue.”
7. Name one thing the current City Council should be proud of, and one thing it should be ashamed of.
“Proud of hiring of new city manager; ashamed of length of meetings.”
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?
“The [real] issue is when [it] will be built. … My concern is the safety of those using the future I-26 and Smokey Park Bridge and the … projected delays with construction not starting until after 2012. [We need] a faster start and completion date for whatever is … built.”
9. Name one positive trend downtown, and one negative trend.
“Positive: continued growth and vibrancy. Negative: increased homelessness.”
10. What can Asheville do to cope with high energy prices and projected energy shortages in the coming years?
“Continue working to improve transit, encourage private use of city’s CNG station when it is built, encourage ridesharing [and] conservation measures.”
11. Would you support increasing the local hotel/motel room tax? Why or why not?
“I would support an increase as the final piece of what is needed to renovate the Civic Center.”
12. What political figure from the past or present do you most wish to emulate?