Political party: Republican
Occupation: Accountant, Biltmore Farms
Education: B.S. business administration/management, Shaw University
Political experience: Served on Planning and Zoning Commission
Donors (top 3): Victor Babaoff $2,320 ($1,600 of which is office space); Pam Farris $1,220; John McLeod Jr. $1,000
Endorsements: “None yet. But I’m hoping that will change.”
1) What are the best and worst steps City Council has taken in the past two years, and why?
Best: “The best step the City Council took was their attempt to keep control of our water supply. It’s an asset.”
Worst: “The worst step the City Council took was to appoint Bryan Freeborn, bless his little heart! Seriously, though, I think his lack of real-world experience has hindered our city’s progress.”
2) What plan(s) do you support for the I-26 Connector project, and why?
“I support a plan that gets the darn thing built. This issue is in the hands of the state … and in the end, it isn’t up to us anyway. If we’re smart about it, we can have some influence. So let’s work with them. Let’s make it happen.”
3) What, if anything, should the city do to improve mass transit?
“Buses should run more frequently. We need to expand the airport to facilitate travel for tourists and businesspeople; I know I hate having to drive two hours just to get an affordable flight. And I’d love to see a proposal for some light rail connecting West Asheville to downtown.”
4) What specific measures, if any, should the city take to address environmental concerns?
“For starters, let’s do a better job of keeping Asheville clean. Let’s not just focus on the politically correct issues, because the ‘little things’ are being overlooked … like cleaning the filth off our streets and stopping vagrants from using parks as public toilets. Those are environmental concerns too.”
5) What’s your position on partisan elections?
“I’m against them. Partisan elections keep power in the hands of party hacks and special-interest groups—- instead of in the hands of the people, where it belongs. Partisan elections shut out the independent thinker, and City Hall shouldn’t be some ivory tower. I want to keep Asheville inclusive.”
6) As a member of City Council, what would be your top three priorities?
“I’ll put an end to the childish game-playing that the incumbent City Council thrives on. I’ll cut out wasteful spending (like the $600,000 disgracefully misspent in the Parks Department) so we can lower property taxes. And I will do everything in my power to reduce crime, wherever it occurs.”
7) What living national political figure do you most admire, and why?
“At the risk of alienating some folks, I’d have to say Sen. Barack Obama. I admire how he motivates young people. I admire his intelligence and command of the issues. And I certainly admire that he sticks to his principles, even if they’re much different than mine.”
8) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support forced annexation?
“Under no circumstances would I support it. It’s un-American.”
9) What steps, if any, do you support to promote affordable housing in Asheville?
“To make housing more affordable, we need higher-paying jobs here in Asheville. The first step in that process is to fix the great “digital divide” that exists here between rich and poor. Education is the key. Everything else is just a temporary fix and doesn’t really solve the problem.”
10) Would you vote for or against The Ellington high-rise project, and why?
“I’m all for it. The Ellington will be a wonderful source of good jobs and provide a great revenue stream for our city—more than the entire Asheville Mall does now. Besides, it’ll bring a little sophistication to town, and Lord knows we need some of that around here.”