Candidate: Steve Bledsoe

Steve Bledsoe

Steve Bledsoe

Political party: Republican
Residence: East Asheville
Occupation: Disabled/retired; engineer/manufacturing management
Education: B.S. engineering, Auburn University; M.B.A. study, University of South Carolina
Political experience: No elected office experience
Endorsements: None

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

Total: $500 (loan from self)

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

“The sale of parkland in front of Asheville City Hall should never have happened. I hope that the City Council approves only an appropriate building with correct height, scale and setbacks. I would support a buyback if the developer would agree to it.”

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

“I think that my leadership and management experience in manufacturing and business will bring to the table new ideas and solutions to the problems we as a county face.”

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

“I know that a lot of people will not agree with my position of wanting to pursue consolidation of local governments, including school boards. But the potential synergy benefits make this worth supporting. We have to look at new ways of doing things to do the most with tax revenues.”

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

“Buncombe County has an economy based upon three major fields; tourism, medical and home construction. We are in need of manufacturing and high-tech jobs. To attract these types of jobs, local governments need to actively recruit them and offer incentives. A strong educational system is critical.”

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

“Transparency in government is very important. While the current board has been open, I will strive to be even more. I will have a published schedule of when I am available to meet with citizens about their concerns and issues. I will meet with neighbor organizations on a regular basis.”

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

“I would support the televising of public-comment periods with some restrictions on time. All citizens should have the right to speak out and to be heard.”

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

“We have to find ways of making sure that people can afford to live in the area where they work.This may include tax breaks to those who build affordable housing and a living-wage requirement. I am open to how we do this.”

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

“We need to consider consolidation of local governments to generate savings and to eliminate duplicated services. This would include areas such as school boards, parks and recreation, fire protection, etc.”

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

“We are building on slopes that should not be built on. We are clearing too much land for our homes. We are cutting down too many old trees. I would support additional restrictions and enforcement to keep this from happening.”

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