Candidate: Lindsey Simerly

Political party: None
Occupation: Massage therapist, nanny, construction
Education: Currently enrolled at A-B Tech
Political experience: None
Donors (top 3): None accepted
Endorsements: Did not respond

1) What are the best and worst steps City Council has taken in the past two years, and why?
Best: “The July revision of steep-slope policy, which helps protect the mountainsides from developers who exploit the land and endanger the residents and wildlife.”
Worst: “More so than one specific mistake, Council has not looked at developments holistically and has approved way too many projects.”

2) What plan(s) do you support for the I-26 Connector project, and why?
“I would like to explore the options provided by the Asheville Design Center. That is the only proposal thus far that I have liked and the only idea the public has been excited about. Their design would separate local and interstate traffic, providing increased pedestrian and bicycle options.”

3) What, if anything, should the city do to improve mass transit?
“Mass transit is extremely important. Not only does it reduce traffic on the roads, but getting more people out of their personal vehicles helps with our air quality. Bike lanes, greenways, better pedestrian access and improvements to our bus system are all important areas to address.”

4) What specific measures, if any, should the city take to address environmental concerns?
“Enforcement of existing codes and ordinances is a real key, because without enforcement the laws may as well not exist. Improving mass transit, requiring large-scale developments to be green, and strengthening our storm-water-runoff regulations are all important.”

5) What’s your position on partisan elections?
“Either partisan or nonpartisan, the system has built in advantages for people with money. One example is being able to pay people to campaign for you or collect signatures. Getting the 2,357 required signatures to run as an independent in a partisan system is difficult, but by no means impossible.”

6) As a member of City Council, what would be your top three priorities?
“1) No. 1 is truly affordable housing, especially affordable rentals in the city, which we are currently severely lacking. We need to fight the gentrification happening in this city! 2) Enforcement of current building codes. 3) Require new developments to be green.”

7) What living national political figure do you most admire, and why?
“As far as someone very involved in the political system, Rep. Dennis Kucinich. He is committed to ending the war now, he has great ideas about insuring all Americans, and he is committed to drastically reducing our greenhouse-gas emissions.”

8) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support forced annexation?
“Annexing Biltmore Lake was a great decision, although annexation in general should be looked at case by case. Some wealthy communities like Biltmore Lake work and play in Asheville but don’t pay city taxes. If they enjoy our city on a regular basis, they should contribute to its economic well-being.”

9) What steps, if any, do you support to promote affordable housing in Asheville?
“Rich developers won’t include affordable, work-force or mixed housing unless it is required. Boston’s inclusionary development policy is a model we should follow, where new developments must include mixed-income housing. Also, providing incentives to organizations like Mountain Housing Opportunities helps build inspiring projects like The Griffin and Glen Rock apartments.”

10) Would you vote for or against The Ellington high-rise project, and why?
“Absolutely and definitively against! The Ellington is a representation of everything greedy and wrong with the desire for development in this city. The Ellington is created by outsiders for outsiders. In addition to essentially being a vertical gated community, these millionaire developers are doing nothing sustainable in the building process!”



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One thought on “Candidate: Lindsey Simerly

  1. This interview is a big disappointment because Asheville will never get an affordable housing supply without approving developments. The number one threat to affordable housing in Asheville is “environmental” regulation like unit density and residential height limits, and the Ellington can one day become like Biltmore Tower.

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