Slogan: “Sound Business Experience When We Really Need It!”
Profession: Former CPA and small-business owner
Residence: Arden/South Asheville
Funding: “$6,000, self-funded”
Endorsements: Lou Bissette, local attorney and former Asheville mayor; Bob Roberts, regional executive, First Citizens Bank
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?
Water is an important resource for our region. Given 80 years of conflict between local governments, I favor having a regional authority manage this regional resource. MSD has earned the respect and confidence of the citizens, has sound management in place and could manage our system in a cost-effective manner.
2. Do you support granting domestic-partner rights and/or benefits to Buncombe County employees? (Yes/No) Why?
No, employee benefits should be used to attract and retain the highest quality employees. At 46 percent of salaries, Buncombe’s employee benefits far exceed benefits provided by private business. Additional benefits are not necessary to attract and retain quality employees. Employee benefits should not be used to push a social agenda.
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?
The government should not pick “winners” or “losers” by providing incentives to private companies. All people/companies should be treated equally, providing an even playing field. Incentives cost taxpayers money. However, we must compete with other areas, [and] thus must selectively provide incentives to attract industries that complement our mountain values.
4. Do you think the county should make funding the Connect Buncombe greenways a high priority? (Yes/No) Why?
Connect Buncombe is a wonderful vision for our area. However, due to the current budget needs for core services, I would not make funding the Connect Buncombe greenways a high priority. This type of project should be funded by contributions from the private sector and foundations, not by tax dollars.
5. What’s the most important role of county government in job creation?
County government should facilitate private business’ dealing with the government by reducing and simplifying regulation. Making it easy to do business in Buncombe County will promote job growth. In addition, keeping the per-capita tax burden low will give businesses a distinct cost advantage, thus creating more jobs.