Matt Kern announces 2016 bid for Buncombe Board of Commissioners, district two

From Matt Kern:

I am Matt Kern, and I am running for the Buncombe County Commission in the Second District because I believe Buncombe County is at a crossroads with many issues. Now is the time for The Commission to provide the leadership we all need. Among the many issues we face, are education and teacher pay, affordable housing, urban sprawl, alternative transportation, and promoting the right kind of good paying jobs.  I believe I have proven myself as an effective leader in the community through the countless hours I have spent serving Buncombe County on a diverse group of Boards and Commissions.  I am the current President of the Friends of the WNC Nature Center and have served on the Mountain Area Child and Family Center (Verner) Board, the Culture and Recreation Authority, and the Asheville Parks and Greenway Foundation Board, just to name a few.

 I am married to my wife Kirsten and, have 2 young sons. We have lived in Buncombe County and the Riceville community for over 15 years. Kirsten is originally from Connecticut, and graduated from The College of Charleston.  She is a licensed Physical Therapist and has worked at CarePartners Health Services in Asheville for over twenty-five years.

I have been a residential home builder and small business owner for over 15 years. I have also worked as a festival organizer of the popular French Broad River Festival, which to date, has raised over $160,000 for local non-profits.

With my education and experience as a business owner, I understand budgets and the economic process. I graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Health and a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

I was raised and educated in these mountains and feel I understand the people, and the issues that face Buncombe County.  I believe that transparency and good communication are the key to being a successful leader and county commissioner. I plan to work hard for all citizens in our county, for the betterment of our beautiful home. Please visit my Website for more about my campaign.


Matt was born in Greensboro, NC and then moved at a young age to Erwin, Tennessee where he was raised on a 30 acre farm deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Growing Acres of burley tobacco, corn and potatoes as well as picking up many hay bales taught Matt the value of hard work and respect for the land.

After high school, Matt attended Western Carolina University and received a BS in Environmental Health and a Masters of Public Administration(MPA). After a brief stint with a large residential developer in Greensboro, Matt made his way back to Asheville and worked for Neighborhood Housing services building affordable housing projects and writing grants. He then decided to start his own residential construction Company, M.C Kern Contracting, Inc, in 2003. Matt has also been a Co-Organizer of the very successful French Broad River Festival, Inc. since 1997.

In the past 15 years, Matt has served on many diverse Boards and Commissions and has given many hours to serving this great community. Among these are the Friends of the WNC Nature Center, Culture and Recreation Authority and the Mountain Area Child and family Center to name a few.

Matt and his wife Kirsten and 2 young sons have lived in the Riceville community for 12 years after living in Arden for a couple years. Kirsten, originally from New Britian, Connecticut and then Clearwater, Florida graduated from the College of Charleston and is a licensed Physical Therapist and has worked for 25 years at Carepartners Health Services.


Matthew C Kern

2002-Present – President, M.C Kern Contracting, Inc.

A residential custom builder specializing in building on in-fill lots with an emphasis on Green building.

1997-Present – French Broad River Festival, Co-Organizer

1999-2001 – Neighborhood Housing Services

Project Manager and grant writer for affordable housing non-profit.

Community Involvement:

2010-Present – Friends of the WNC Nature Center Board of Directors, current President

2014 – Culture and Recreation Authority(CRA), appointed by the County Commission

2008- 2013 – Mountain Area Child and Family Center(currently Verner Center)Board of Directors, Executive Committee

2008-2012 – Asheville Parks and Greenway Foundation Board of Directors

1999-2002 – Asheville Greenway Commission

1999-2004 – Asheville Affiliates Board of Directors

1999-2001 – Asheville Jaycees, President


MPA, Masters of Public Administration – Western Carolina University

BS, Environmental Health – Western Carolina University

Fellow, North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership

About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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3 thoughts on “Matt Kern announces 2016 bid for Buncombe Board of Commissioners, district two

  1. jpenley

    It’s great to see a candidate with this kind of background and these kind of ideas!!!

  2. Sanatadvert

    Being a neighbor gives you a close perspective, especially when you are the “new neighbor”. I have worked in many campaigns, and have a strong opinion of those who run for office – It is even more important when you find a fine, upstanding and dedicated candidate who exemplifies the best of varied experiences and who has found friends and supporters wherever he has been. Matt is a great neighbor – as is his entire family. I hope you get a chance to meet him soon, so that you, too, can help get Matt on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to move our county forward in a good way for all of us.
    It is important that we encourage Matt, and help him on his way – as a kind, friendly, accomplished and loyal hard worker – you know, the kind that is hard to find and a pleasure to see in a position of responsibility – – because he cares about the County – and how it grows. S. F.

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