Residence: North Asheville
Years in Asheville: 17
Education: Studied art & literature at UNCA and UNC-Chapel Hill
Political party: Democrat
Political experience: Woodfin Water Board since 2003
What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this election?
“I do not view them as opponents, but as fellow citizens willing to be in service to their community. Since I am self-employed, I can give more hours to this job than many of my colleagues can spare. I look at this as a full-time job.”
Should the city build the Battle Square parking deck as planned?
“I do not believe that we should build that parking deck or pursue any of the rest of the proposed project without thoroughly engaging the community in its design.”
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?
“Not necessarily. I think we should look at the overall will of the voters as expressed in the election results and determine who will best serve the city.”
Should the city enact height restrictions on new downtown buildings? Why or why not?
“This is a decision that the citizens of Asheville need to be involved in making. I have heard many reasons on both sides of this debate and feel that this should be decided in an overall-guiding-development-principles discussion.”
What changes (if any) would you make to expand public input in city meetings, plans and policies?
“Expand the Web site for interactivity possibilities. Publicize clearly, early and often the upcoming issues. Allow for public-comment hearings earlier in the process. Open work sessions to public comment. Establish regular town meetings with Council present.”
Would you vote to increase the salaries for Council members (currently $11,927) and the mayor (currently $16,223)? Why or why not?
“Yes. It will expand the pool of potential Council members to more segments of our community, enable Council to spend more time exploring issues and being available to [citizens], offer better representation of citizen interests in the face of paid development/business lobbyists. … This change [should] begin after my term.”
Would you vote to extend insurance benefits to unmarried domestic partners of city workers? Why or why not?
“Yes. I believe in equal treatment for all segments of our community as the basis of a just and fair society. I think that the city has a responsibility to lead in this area. There are successful models in place … that we can use to establish these policies.”
Should the city require developers to post performance bonds to ensure that permit conditions are met?
“Yes. Performance bonds are recognized insurance policies that ensure that the developer will either fulfill the requirements of the permit or the city will be compensated fairly.”
What do you think the recent primary results tell us about current political trends in Asheville?
“I believe the voters are sending a message that they are ready for a Council that will look for innovative solutions to our communities’ issues and simultaneously conserve the qualities that make our city unique.”
Name an unsung local hero or heroes — someone or some group that is performing significant public service with little recognition.
“That’s tough, because I see heroes everywhere in Asheville. That is what inspired me to run for City Council: to support all the unsung heroes in the good work they do for our community. My unsung heroes during this campaign season are my family.”