Occupation: owner, Eagle's Market convenience store
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: current member of the Transit Commission and Board of Adjustment; volunteered on political campaigns for Charles Carter, Steve Metcalf, Ralph Campbell, Judge Jim Wynn, Judge Wanda Bryant and Dan Blue, assisted in November elections, 2000 to present
Endorsements: None listed
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Top three: J. Neal Jackson, $1,200; Don Yelton, $200; Eric Gorny, $75
2) Do you favor district elections for Council members? Why or why not?
No, I do not favor District Elections. Our town is small enough to let the citizens decide. How fair would district elections be if we really look at the make up of our city and citizens in the various neighborhoods?
3) What steps, if any, should the city take to deal with graffiti?
We need to take a look at other cities and the technology that is being used to combat this issue. If we had the resources, how fast and how effective would our police department be in combating this issue?
4) Do you support the implementation of domestic-partner benefits for city employees? Why or why not?
If I am going to support this issue, I need to see all of the facts. And it should not just be in Asheville; it should be throughout the country. Is it fair or unfair because people can take advantage of this situation, which could cost taxpayers?
5) Given the city's current and likely upcoming budget shortfalls, how would you make ends meet?
Evaluate with all department heads to see what is necessary for them to be efficient. Sit down with all Council members to see where cuts are needed for the interim. Find creative ways to get citizens out of work working so the city can fill the void of lost tax revenues.
6) Which key elements of the Downtown Master Plan, if any, do you want to see implemented in the next year?
We have so many master plans out there right now …. The city has budget shortfall, people are out of work, and the DMP is years away from becoming a reality. Focus on improving cleanliness and encourage entrepreneurship to maintain what we all have fell in love with Asheville for.
7) What measures, if any, do you support to promote bicycle and mass transit?
Focus on our transit system, extend hours and offer Sunday service. Citizens need to be able to get to and from work. We need to create bike lanes that are efficient, because we have an ever-growing cyclist community. Cyclists need to be protected on our busy streets.
8) How much of a role, compared to its current one, should the city play in putting on festivals?
I feel if the funding is available we should continue to focus on festivals that have played an important role in creating our Asheville community. I also feel that our major festivals should have already been self sufficient. It is our job as Council to promote our community and support it, but in a manner that is cost effective with minimum loss of taxpayers dollars.
9) Which sitting member of City Council are you most like politically, and which do you differ the most with?
I am not like or different than any of our current Council members. I am J. Neal Jackson, a free man who has been blessed with the ability to think and make decisions as a free individual.
10) What should Asheville's policy be regarding forced annexation of surrounding areas?
I am not for forced annexation. I feel if communities as a whole would like to be annexed, allow the citizens to vote and decide; that should be the American way. People fail to realize the effects of forced annexation in that their property taxes will increase.