Residence: Town Mountain
Years in Asheville: Most of my life
Education: M.A. in education (Western Carolina University), M.S.W. (University of Georgia), Ph.D. in psychology (Union Institute)
Political party: Republican
Political experience: Four years on City Council, two as vice mayor
What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this election?
“I am dedicated in word and action to the principles of liberty, responsibility and opportunity as a foundation for healthy government. I avoid catering to political or personal pressures — preferring to play it straight, weigh out the issues, and pursue what is best over what is easy.”
Should the city build the Battle Square parking deck as planned?
“We clearly need a parking lot downtown. Can the project be improved? Probably, but on the basis of objective review versus personal preferences. If I may dispel one of many myths on the proposed garage, this project is being funded by the people who park downtown and not [by] taxpayers.”
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?
“Our city election procedures provide for public election of three members of City Council and a mayor. If a seat vacancy is created under any circumstances, I believe that the Council should make whatever appointment the majority deems appropriate.”
Should the city enact height restrictions on new downtown buildings? Why or why not?
“I believe our existing ordinances, economics and the self-correcting system of a free-market economy provide for adequate restrictions on height. I am enthusiastic about some of the new proposed structures that will excite our downtown, complement our rich architectural history, and boldly propel us into a new century.”
What changes (if any) would you make to expand public input in city meetings, plans and policies?
“Through phone, e-mail, letter, public comment and direct contact, the public has broad opportunity for input into city government. In candor, some folks seem to confuse free access and input with the authority to control the outcome. A better forum for that agenda is the voting booth.”
Would you vote to increase the salaries for Council members (currently $11,927) and the mayor (currently $16,223)? Why or why not?
“No. Although Council service demands significant personal and financial sacrifice, participation should first and foremost be about public service. Our salaries exceed those of most cities our size, and we do best to have dedicated people on Council versus those with a desire for a new source of personal income.”
Would you vote to extend insurance benefits to unmarried domestic partners of city workers? Why or why not?
“No. We cannot afford to have taxpayers fund health-care coverage for unmarried domestic partners.”
Should the city require developers to post performance bonds to ensure that permit conditions are met?
“This may not be a bad idea. Contrary to the rhetoric of the ‘silly season,’ the instances of developer violations are few in number, but we could be doing a better job of enforcing consequences when violations do occur.”
What do you think the recent primary results tell us about current political trends in Asheville?
“Little more than that the moderate and conservative citizens of Asheville were not invested in the primary election. It is my continued belief that a majority of Asheville’s citizens uphold reason, consideration for our fellow man, and dedication to freedom and personal responsibility over political activism.”
Name an unsung local hero or heroes — someone or some group that is performing significant public service with little recognition.
“The working men and women who press forward with a hand on personal responsibility and an eye toward opportunity. Dedicated to more than their own personal pleasures, dependency on the labors of others, or the lost liberty found in government handouts, these citizens embody the best of who we are.”