Candidate survey: Ron McKee

Political party: Republican
Residence: Avery’s Creek
Occupation: Retired; former owner Asheville Tourists
Political experience: None
Endorsements: None

Ron McKee

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

“This information is available to the public through the N.C. State Board of Elections.”

2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent in this election?

“I have experience taking a business that was in trouble and rebuilding it; balancing and earning a budget; and convincing both the public and businesses to invest in my ideas. I have a track record of offering creative solutions to problems.”

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

“My desire to allow the electorate to be more involved in how they are governed—for instance allowing a vote on district elections.”

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

“For now, keeping it at the present level. However, like most ordinances, it needs to be reviewed periodically to determine whether or not zoning is an effective tool in land-use planning.”

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

“Create an environment that allows business to be successful—i.e. profitable. This includes nonrestrictive regulations and providing an educated, well-trained pool of workers.”

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

“No. I would favor televising the meetings—including all comments—as well as the budgeting process. The head of each department would be required to make public presentations justifying their proposed budget. I would encourage the Asheville Citizen-Times to print the upcoming meeting agenda in the Sunday edition.”

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

“Yes. It costs the public nothing, it forces government to be accountable and transparent, and it allows people who cannot attend the meetings a more complete picture of what transpired.”

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?

“First, there needs to be a review of all county emergency-preparedness plans. During this review, it may be discovered that we are not unique, considering the shortages throughout the region and that there is nothing that can be done on the county level to control fuel supplies.”

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

“Personally, I agree with the Sullivan Act, and the courts have upheld its legitimacy. However, my opinion (and that of the county commissioners) matters little, since the Asheville City Council has opted to appeal the court’s decision and continue the costly legal battle over how the matter will be decided.”

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

“Current slope-construction regulations are not appropriate, because they are not flexible enough to be site-specific. Rather than enacting new ordinances, no matter how well intentioned, we need to go to knowledgeable, experienced professionals to determine a truly safe and effective plan for building while continuing to protect our mountains.”



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