Candidate survey: Don Yelton

Political party: Republican
Residence: Jupiter, north Buncombe
Occupation: Professor and TV producer
Political experience: Have observed and studied local government since 1988
Endorsements: None sought; won’t tailor answers to please groups

Don Yelton

1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?

Total: about $9,500
Top three: Several in the $200 range; no large contributor.

2) What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this race?

“I am not a career politician and have been on the inside and outside of government and understand where the mistakes are being made.”

3) What do you consider to be your most controversial policy position?

“I am open and straightforward. The power structure does not like that.”

4) Do you favor expanding zoning in the county, reversing it or keeping it at its present level? Why?

“Zoning is how you can tell someone what to do with their property. Property rights are fundamental to our freedom. We have laws, but they are not enforced. Zoning sets up a political board that breeds corruption. Some rules are necessary to create affordable housing but not what people think.”

5) What would you do to attract better-paying jobs to the area?

“Figure out how to build here without destroying the goose that laid the golden egg. Create innovative ways to recycle and reuse a lot of waste materials. Rework tax structure and regulations to reward builders and industry for the correct actions.”

6) Has the present Board of Commissioners conducted its business with sufficient transparency? If not, what would you do to increase openness?

“Absolutely not. Televise all meetings and comments. Permit public comment on the issue before any vote is taken. Publish and televise all board and commission [meetings]. Put the accounting system on the Internet, with check number, amount and to whom [written] and the budget line-item number.”

7) Should the public-comment period before and after board meetings be televised? Why or why not?

“Yes. Public comment was televised up until 2000, and that led to a change in the board. Since then, four Democrats have blocked the televising of public comment. These four people will not let us vote on zoning or district elections and have televised public comment.”

8) The recent gas shortage revealed that this area is uniquely vulnerable to disruptions in fuel supply. What steps would you take to remedy this?

“I have made a position statement on this. Promote drilling for gas and oil off the coast of N.C. Encourage the construction of a refinery in Wilmington [and] construction of a storage depot here in WNC. This is not the total solution but steps to help with the problem.”

9) What is your position on the Sullivan Acts and the water dispute with the city of Asheville?

“I have a simple solution that cannot be spelled out in 50 words, but the outline is you pay what it costs to get it to the user. 1) fixed cost; 2) distance pumped; 3) head-pressure needed; 4) line maintenance.”

10) Are current slope-construction regulations appropriate? How, if at all, would you change them?

“NO. The current regulations just spread out development, which increases the roads and destruction of mountains. It also adds several thousand dollars in cost to housing.”



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