Candidate: Don Yelton

Don Yelton

Don Yelton

Political party: Republican
Residence: Jupiter Road, Weaverville
Occupation: Instructor, consultant
Education: B.A. biology/psychology, UNCA; M.S. biology, East Tennessee State University; M.S. environmental systems engineering, Clemson University.
Political experience: Served on Buncombe County committee evaluating composting; worked with Taxpayers for Accountability, Citizens for Change and other groups.
Have attended most county commissioner meetings since 1996.
Endorsements: Do not know

1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?

Total: about $4,100
Top three: Self $3,500, Zora Hays $200, Norma Anderson $162

2) What is your position on the Parkside condominium proposal?

“It is a symptom of a much bigger problem.”

3) What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this primary?

“I was talking about open government, transparency and change before it was popular.”

4) What do you consider to be your most controversial policy position, and why

“Nonprofits open their books if they get tax dollars. We, the people, are entitled to see where our hard-earned money goes, and it is very important because the ‘good,’ efficient nonprofits would have more.”

5) What would you do to attract better-paying jobs to the area?

“Accent the development of ‘good,’ sound building-and-development practices, which would spin off into being in the front of today’s problems instead of trying the failed solutions of others.”

6) Has the present board conducted its business with sufficient transparency? If not, what would you do to increase openness?

“NO. Televise [entire] meeting. … Change meeting times; [regularly meet in] the community [in] problem areas or where people are in an uproar. [Make] sure closed sessions [have] proper minutes [as well as] all committees and boards. … With today’s technology there is no excuse for not having open government.”

7) Should the public-comment period before and after board meetings be televised? Why or why not?

“Yes, and I can’t think of any reason that it should not be televised.”

8) What steps, if any, would you support to increase the supply of affordable housing in Buncombe?

“First step would be to work to prove that mobile homes can be attractive. Also, evaluate the direct impact of upscale zoning and taxes in creating an unaffordable housing market.”

9) Should the cities and towns in Buncombe consolidate any services? Why?

“Consolidation cannot remove those in charge from the people. The MSD board has no direct control by the people. For consolidation to work, competition
is needed. There are some activities that the government can do better than the private sector, but the government should encourage private enterprise at all levels.”

10) Are current slope-construction regulations appropriate? If not, how would you change them?

“No, they are not appropriate—they actually encourage erosion and sprawl. They should be changed to permit the proper and correct actions for minimal impact, which also equates to less cost and maintenance.”

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