Slogan: Sustainability, Prosperity, Accountability
Funding: Essentially self-funding
1. Do you favor A) creating a regional water authority, B) giving the existing system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District or C) leaving it under Asheville’s control? Why?
For now, I favor local control because MSD is appointed and not directly accountable to customers. As the county grows, we will need to shift to an integrated strategy. Our future economic development and vital-resource security depend on resolving this lingering wedge issue in a constructive manner.
2. Do you support granting domestic-partner rights and/or benefits to Buncombe County employees? (Yes/No) Why?
Absolutely. Smart firms know that retaining talent costs less than seeking, hiring and training new talent. Among the important team-member concerns: family security. Therefore, regardless of orientation or marital status, I support benefit packages for significant others of all team members who are in verifiable long-term, committed relationships.
3. Do you favor offering tax breaks and other economic-development incentives to companies that agree to move here or expand existing facilities and hire local workers? (Yes/No) Why?
Too often, firms exploit these deals. First, support local entrepreneurs. Second, create an environment (education, recreation, safety etc.) that attracts nonlocal businesses without incentive packages. Third, offer modest incentive packages for long-term commitments (15 years minimum) and opportunities for ancillary businesses (example: supplying parts to Linamar or hops to Highland).
4. Do you think the county should make funding the Connect Buncombe greenways a high priority? (Yes/No) Why?
I believe greenways promote mental and physical health, reduce traffic and attract new residents and businesses. That said, we are in tough economic conditions, so greenway construction must make economic sense. I favor reaching the next logical decision point in construction and then evaluating the situation.
5. What’s the most important role of county government in job creation?
Create an appropriate tax and regulatory structure. Provide efficient and effective services to support business function, creation and expansion. Protect people and property. Educate students of all ages to innovate, to create and to strive.