JoAnn Morgan, Democrat, candidate for District 2, Buncombe County

Party: Democrat
Slogan: Committed to Support our Mountain Values
Profession: Former assistant Buncombe County Register of Deeds (for 32 years), more than 20 years as notary-public instructor at A-B Tech
Residence: Weaverville
Funding: Top donor: Jim Barkley ($1,000); total raised: $8,361.
Endorsements: Hoyte and Judy Dillingham; Jim Barkley, president of Jim Barkley Toyota; Denny Dillingham, Big Ivy Community; Bob Christy, former Clerk of Superior Court; Pat Howard, T.P. Plumbing Company, Fairview;  Dave Alexander, Swannanoa; Gary Bartlett, retired Fire Chief, Black Mountain; Black Mountain Vice Mayor Tim Raburn; former Buncombe County Commissioner Doris Giezentanner, Woodfin; Gary J. Roberts , Alexander; Mayor Al Root, Weaverville; and J. Ray Elingburg, former Clerk of Superior Court, Weaverville.

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?
Several years ago when Asheville made plans to annex property that needed water the state became involved. I feel the city and county should work equally to provide Buncombe County citizens this valuable resource. The state should not have to dictate a solution to who owns our water system.

2. Do you support granting domestic-partner rights and/or benefits to Buncombe County employees? (Yes/No) Why?
I’m a strong equal-rights advocate and in these strained economic times the only way we can pay for additional services is to either raise taxes or cut existing programs. We must take every precaution to guard taxpayers’ money and ask how we would pay for any additional services and/or benefits.

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?
I do believe that offering incentives and tax breaks to large employers in an effort to have them locate in our area and employ our local people is appropriate provided the offered incentives will assure that we will have the necessary return on our investment.

4. Do you think the county should make funding the Connect Buncombe greenways a high priority? (Yes/No) Why?
Our priority should be providing our citizens a safe environment with the opportunity for a good education with health services that meet their needs. I am committed to being a good steward to our tax dollars and transparency. Greenways are important, as well as providing the means to support them.

5. What’s the most important role of county government in job creation?
To ensure that we have well-educated, trained citizens that can fill the market need for skilled workers. By supporting new companies and small businesses that invest in our county and addressing the housing shortage, which will boost opportunities for jobs.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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