Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: eight years on Asheville City Council, two years as vice mayor
Endorsements: "I have worked extra hard to alienate every special/selfish interest group in WNC — including my own party. So far I have been successful."
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
None. After eight years of creative, energetic and principled actions, the people of Asheville know my name, what I stand for, and what I will do. I will embrace reelection with enthusiasm or depart with gratitude; I will not accept or spend any money to purchase a council seat.
2) Do you favor district elections for Council members? Why or why not?
No. Asheville is not large enough to support districts. In any case, districts tend to create "mini-me mayors" whereby elected power brokers look out for their district's special interests versus the common good. We are all in this together and should be looking out for everyone with matching enthusiasm.
3) What steps, if any, should the city take to deal with graffiti?
Graffiti vandals do great harm to other people's property behind a mask of artistry. It is a poor way to matter in a world that needs more from all of us. I support rewards, enforcement, consequence and creative clean-up initiatives. I do not support penalizing victims with draconian ordinances.
4) Do you support the implementation of domestic-partner benefits for city employees? Why or why not?
No. I am still baffled on why employers have become the source of benefits for anyone other than employees to begin with — it is an unsustainable system. Aside from this philosophical question, the city cannot afford partner benefits. We can barely afford the benefit demands currently in place.
5) Given the city's current and likely upcoming budget shortfalls how would you make ends meet?
Concentrate city government on things others cannot do for themselves — like public safety — and resist the temptations of being all things to all people. We should fund the necessary over the nice, core services over special services, and small and efficient government over big government.
6) Which key elements of the Downtown Master Plan, if any, do you want to see implemented in the next year?
I am not a master-plan enthusiast. This is another expensive and distracting exercise in motion over action that has us attempting to effectively control things we cannot and neglecting things we can. This document will be misused by special interests to support their agendas over the common good.
7) What measures, if any, do you support to promote bicycle and mass transit?
Any that are realistic and have funding fairly shared by those who use the service. Topography is our strongest bike transportation hurdle. Transportation and jobs are our best social service. That's why I started the Top-A-Stop program using donations and volunteers to build those 50 wood bus stops around Asheville.
8) How much of a role, compared to its current one, should the city play in putting on festivals?
We should offer fair and equitable rules that support others in exerting their creative festival energies. We should not be funding festivals with tax dollars. One of the easiest things to do as a politician is use other people's money for other people's interests — I resist this temptation.
9) Which sitting member of City Council are you most like politically, and which do you differ the most with?
I have a close relationship with and appreciation for that Mumpower guy. He has courage and creativity buttons, works hard, focuses on the common good and stands for something you can count on whether you agree or not. Political differences? Most of the other six most of the time.
10) What should Asheville's policy be regarding forced annexation of surrounding areas?
I do not support or vote for forced annexation policies. That said, Asheville does not have the same tax, water and sewer leverages that other cities have to encourage voluntary annexation. If we want to end forced annexation, our legislators have to start treating Asheville like they do other cities.