Residence: West Asheville
Occupation: Marketing and development manager, Mountain Housing Opportunities
Years in Asheville: 33
Education: B.A. in English (UNC-Charlotte); enrolled in Duke University Nonprofit Certification Program; working on M.A. in English (WCU)
Political party: Democrat
Political experience: Six years on City Council
What most distinguishes you from your opponent in this election?
“I present a comprehensive agenda that addresses issues affecting all parts of [our diverse] community. I understand that … issues in east Asheville are different from issues downtown. … I have … a plan to actively include Council members’ ideas and goals, while also supporting the communities’ overall needs.”
Should the city build the Battle Square parking deck as planned?
“The realities that surround the development of the Battle Square parking deck have changed over the years as well as the landowners. I believe we should look at additional alternatives to the proposed site. There are possibilities that could involve partnerships with the county and the private sector.”
If City Council must fill a vacated seat after the election, will you vote to appoint the next highest vote-getter? Why or why not?
“In the past, I have not supported the fourth-highest vote-getter automatically being placed in the vacant seat. I am open to hearing what the public would like … between Nov. 9 and Dec. 1, so that the issue can be addressed prior to the swearing in on Dec. 6.”
Should the city enact height restrictions on new downtown buildings? Why or why not?
“I believe downtown is the more appropriate place for higher density. The real issue is the design of the buildings. Limitations should be placed on the design of buildings being developed downtown.”
What changes (if any) would you make to expand public input in city meetings, plans and policies?
“[Before issues come] to the full Council for a vote, I would like to see more Council committees (Economic Development/Land Use Planning Committee, Infrastructure and Public Safety) … made of three [Council] members who look at issues in a holistic manner. During the committee meetings, public comment may be taken.”
Would you vote to increase the salaries for Council members (currently $11,927) and the mayor (currently $16,223)? Why or why not?
“I support increasing the salaries for Council members and the mayor. The city of Asheville is unlike any other city its size in that the members of the governing body put in a great deal of time and resources.”
Would you vote to extend insurance benefits to unmarried domestic partners of city workers? Why or why not?
“I need additional information on how we would implement this issue. This would mean expanding coverage options for all employees who are not married but are in a committed domestic relationship.”
Should the city require developers to post performance bonds to ensure that permit conditions are met?
“I am unfamiliar with this concept and need additional information on how it would be implemented and tracked.”
What do you think the recent primary results tell us about current political trends in Asheville?
“The results tell us several different things. Two important things: First, that local elected officials need to convey to the public the importance of the local elections and encourage people to vote. Secondly, that the people who did vote are looking for active leadership that addresses issues comprehensively.”
Name an unsung local hero or heroes — someone or some group that is performing significant public service with little recognition.
“Mentors and tutors, who are volunteering to assist children in our public schools, are making a significant impact in our children’s lives.”