Name: Patsy Keever
Occupation: Retired teacher
Party affiliation, if any: Democrat
Political experience: Buncombe County commissioner 1992 to 2004
Endorsements: Women's Campaign Forum
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign?
$37,514; 123 donations under $100; more than 265 different contributors; average donation $148.57.
Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Jane Swafford – $4,000
Nancy Alexander -$1,000
Harry Clendenin – $1,000
Charise Gantt – $1,000
Lennie Jernigan – $1,000
Mona Lisa Wallace – $1,000
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
I am a lifelong environmental activist advocating for stewardship and protection of our natural resources. My opponent was listed as one of the Dirty Dozen by the Conservation Council of NC and was the lowest-rated legislator on environmental issues by Environment NC.
3) What are your top three legislative priorities?
1. Rebuilding the economy.
2. Public education at all levels — particularly a required ninth-grade course which will prepare our young people to make better decisions as they enter the adult world.
3. Effective slope-development regulations which will protect the safety of our citizens and the integrity of our mountains.
4) Do you favor amending or repealing the Sullivan Acts, which limit Asheville's ability to control water-system revenues? Why or why not?
The Sullivan Acts have been upheld in the Court of Appeals, and although they do not seem fair to the city of Asheville, repealing them at this point is not a high priority for me. Creating jobs is a much more urgent need.
5) What methods do you favor for dealing with the state budget crunch? What effects will they have on the Asheville area?
State revenues are volatile, because they are primarily sales taxes and income taxes. These two sources are highly affected by general economic downturns. Therefore the best way to rebuild state and local revenues is to put people back to work.
6) Do you favor changing the state's involuntary-annexation law? If so, how?
I am open to re-examining annexation laws to ensure everyone is treated fairly. For example, I am against parts of a neighborhood being annexed while other parts are excluded.
7) What do you recommend to remedy shortcomings in the state's mental-health-care system?
The state needs to be funding more prevention and services for the mentally ill and putting fewer of these citizens in jail. We need to ensure that the money available is going where it is most needed, such as autism programs and community crisis facilities.
8) What is your position on bringing high-speed rail to the Asheville area?
I favor passenger rail to Asheville and think we need to be working toward that end, realizing that it has been and will be a long process. We need to be communicating and building a relationship with Norfolk Southern railway.
9) Do you favor benefits for same-sex domestic partners of state employees? Why or why not?
Yes; I favor equal rights for everyone. Providing domestic-partner benefits is a good and necessary retention benefit for our state employees.
10) Do you support state assistance for municipalities in financial trouble? If so, in what form?
By statute, state and local governments are required to have a balanced budget. The state should continue to provide excellent training for city and county employees and elected officials through the UNC School of Government. The state should allow more flexibility to the local governments to achieve mandated objectives.