Occupation: General Manager and VP of WNC Parking Lot Services
Xpress: How would you cater to the needs of all county residents and represent different areas’ issues?
By lowering our taxes and fixing it to where everybody’s making money. My vision is that everyone is making more money than what they’re making right now. Get government out of the way of local businesses. We’ve got businesses here that have been operating for over 70 years and can’t get a break from the zoning laws and policies that our county has come up with. I would get all of that stuff out of the way and repeal policies that past commissioners have put in place, so businesses can breathe and start giving raises and creating high-paying jobs.
What direction would you take the county as chair?
I would take the county to the conservative level, and we will be lowering taxes. I’ll do anything I can to stop personal agendas. If it doesn’t pertain to lowering taxes or getting government out of the way so businesses can make money, I’ll do anything I can to keep it off the agenda.
Do you support giving companies economic incentives to relocate/expand in Buncombe County? Should companies receive economic incentives even if not all the jobs they provide pay a living wage?
I don’t believe in giving tax dollars away. But if somebody wanted to build here or add onto their company, if we can do whatever we can do to keep permit fees and stuff out of the way, then I’m all for it.
What neighborhood/area do you live in? What are those residents’ concerns?
I live in Leicester, and everybody’s concern is the way the county has zoned us. They’re pushing a lot of crime and Section 8 housing out our way. We’re concerned about the NCDOT widening Leicester Highway, and we’re concerned about our property values.
Given the county’s financial state, would you consider raising property taxes in the next two years? Would you try to cut the budget? If so, in what areas?
We’re going to lower taxes and cut any duplicate programs the federal government already has in place (there’s a lot of that in health care). I wouldn’t give the nonprofits anything. That’s just a small portion of the budget, but that money could’ve gone back to the taxpayers or for raises for teachers or law enforcement and first responders.
You’re sitting at the county’s annual budget meeting. All public safety and infrastructure needs have been addressed, and you have funding left for only two additional areas. Which two would you choose?
What needs to be strengthened is the county taxpayer. If we don’t need their money, I’d give back to the taxpayers and also to first responders, law enforcement and teachers.
What do you bring to the table that your opponent can’t?
Strength. Most of us in the county are conservative, but we have a group of Asheville City Councilmen and others in the liberal bunch trying to take over Buncombe County. My opponent has never taken on the gang of liberals like that. These people want to constantly raise taxes, push their agendas. I don’t think she has the strength to put a stop to it, and she’s already voted to raise taxes. We need someone to fight for the citizens out here, and that person is me.
What are three achievable goals that you would champion in the next two years?
First, lower taxes. Second, do whatever we can to get government out of the way. It makes no difference what income bracket you’re in: I want to see everybody making more money. I’m really concerned about how the liberal gang of downtown Asheville is bullying businesses, especially in the hotel industry. They’re extorting these people out of the Tourism Development Fund. And third, put a halt to the bullying of business. We’ve had enough of it.