Occupation: builder, writer and publisher
Party affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: Avl Precinct 3 chair; treasurer PARCPAC (federal PAC); candidate for Buncombe Commissioners, 2008; co-founder the Avl Coalition-2005; co-chair Dean for America (Avl), 2004; founding member The Progressive Project; founder Rolling Thunder (Avl), 2003; co-founder SpareChange? (Avl), 2003; WNC coordinator, Cynthia Brown for U.S. Senate, 2002
Endorsements: Asheville Chapter of NOW, Asheville Fire Fighters Association, People Advocating Real Conservancy, Sierra Club, UNCA College Democrats,
WNC Central Labor Council, more listed at cecilbothwell.wordpress.com
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Top three: Mary Fishman, $550; $500 each from Mark Noble, Charlie Thomas and John Wilson
2) What resolution would you like to see for the I-26 connector?
NC DOT remains stuck in 20th-century planning. Automobile use is decreasing. NC DOT imagines increases and won't consider climate change or rising fuel prices. Federal money requires local input. We should demand 55 mph and six-lane maximum, which drops the project's footprint and the impact on local neighborhoods.
3) What is the best route for addressing the city's homelessness problem?
"Housing first" as part of the 10 Year Plan is helping. The number of homeless will increase due to the recession and international macro-economic policies. We need to encourage and help fund volunteer efforts like Room in the Inn, soup kitchen and meal programs, and Vets' Quarters.
4) Should height limits be implemented for new construction in the city? Why or why not?
The best argument for height limits is the viewscape from downtown. We all love the mountains, else we would have all moved to someplace where walking and building were more convenient. Height limits will help us preserve the mountain views that matter so much to residents and tourists alike.
5) What oversight should Council delegate to other boards/commissions with the adoption of the Downtown Master Plan?
Council shouldn't delegate oversight, only evaluation of compliance. The buck stops with Council because Council offers the direct voice of the people. Clearer rules can make life easier for both developers and Council — with early public information about big projects — but we should not abdicate citizen oversight via elected representatives.
6) Should Council reconsider a development buffer around Pack Square Park? Why or why not?
After expenditure of millions of dollars of city and county money on the long-delayed reconstruction of Pack Square, we should definitely implement a development buffer. It will be a thorny issue, but we can fashion a policy that will both permit reasonable development and respect the public interest.
7) Should Asheville be allowed to increase or dedicate part of its room tax to make infrastructure improvements? Why or why not?
ABSOLUTELY! All room-tax receipts in Asheville go to the Chamber of Commerce to advertise Asheville. Other cities in NC get part of their room tax for city projects. Here all of that tax goes directly to the Chamber of Commerce, a private corporation. Tourist dollars should support local infrastructure.
8) What associations or business dealings would cause you to ask to be recused for conflict of interest if they came up in Council deliberation?
None. I see no possible benefit to me in any conceivable matter before Council beyond cleaner air, cleaner streets, less traffic congestion, greener jobs and other benefits that should accrue to everyone. If, against all odds, a maverick cash cow ambled my way, I would seek recusal per state law.
9) What question would you like to ask to any other candidate and to whom would you ask it?
Carl Mumpower: Why do you believe that drug prohibition policies which have failed for over 100 years will suddenly work in Asheville in 2009?
10) Which other candidates will you be voting for?
Esther and Gordon.