Press release from Matt Kern for Buncombe County Commission:
Homebuilder ànd renewable energy leader Matt Kern, a longtime resident of Riceville community, is announcing his candidacy for the Buncombe County Commission for District 2.
“I am committed to being a good listener and collaborative problem-solver who delivers common sense solutions to meet the needs of fellow residents in Buncombe County,” Kern said. “I offer twenty-five years of experience listening, learning, and leading in our community on early childhood education, adult education, business development, and transitioning to renewable energy.”
As Chair of the Board of the A-B Tech Trustees, Kern led efforts to develop the largest solar project of any community college in North Carolina history. Kern developed a proposal for A-B Tech to partner with Buncombe County to install solar on seven of AB Tech’s campus facilities. The project includes a $1.1 million investment in renewable energy, which will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 100 homes. The project is forecasted to reduce AB Tech electricity costs by more than $3 million over the life of the project, saving local taxpayers money. Solar installations began in 2021 and all systems will be fully operational in 2023.
“As a Father, I believe we must act with greater urgency to transition to renewable energy. The climate crisis is real and the time for talk is over. To safeguard our children’s future, we need to immediately scale up our use of renewable energy,” said Kern.
Kern has owned his own small business constructing energy efficient homes for families in Buncombe County for nearly 20 years. He and his wife, Kirsten Kern, a physical therapist, are raising two teenage sons. Kern wants to use his experience in home building to significantly expand the county’s role in building affordable and workforce housing.
“People who live and work full time in our community can not afford to purchase or even rent a decent home in our community. Our current strategies are not sufficient. As Commissioner, I will support new policies to build at least 2,000 affordable homes between now and 2030, which would triple the amount of annual affordable home construction. I know we can do so much more. We need to think bigger and act now,” said Kern.
Kern believes our county commission is best able to serve our community when its members are active and informed on the issues affecting the people of Buncombe County. Kern’s service on local Boards and Commissions includes the Verner Center for Early Learning, Friends of the WNC Nature Center, Asheville Parks and Greenway Foundation, Asheville Greenway Commission and the Culture and Recreation Authority. Kern is the current Chair of the A-B Tech Board of Trustees and serves on the Buncombe County/City of Asheville Schools Capital Fund Commission.
As Commissioner, Kern will also prioritize community-led solutions for protecting our mountains and farmland, managing growth, supporting public school teachers and creating greenways.
Kern ran for County Commission in 2016, finishing second in the Democratic primary.
To get involved in his campaign visit MattKernforCommission.com.