Slogan: Profession: I’m a farrier … part blacksmith, part artisan and part horse podiatrist.
Funding: Endorsements: None
1. Do you favor A) creating a regional water authority, B) giving the existing system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District or C) leaving it under Asheville’s control? Why?
I want to work with all the sides to hammer out an equitable resolution that’s in the best interests of all the ratepayers of Buncombe County, whatever shape that takes. I think we can work this out if we tone down the rhetoric. People are tired of all the bickering.
2. Do you support granting domestic-partner rights and/or benefits to Buncombe County employees? (Yes/No) Why?
No. Our economic picture is too tenuous right now to make promises we can’t pay for. Domestic partnership is potentially a very open-ended concept, and you can’t ask the taxpayers to insure everyone. But certainly, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter who they are.
3. Do you favor offering tax breaks and other economic-development incentives to companies that agree to move here or expand existing facilities and hire local workers? (Yes/No) Why?
Yes I do — but like with anything, it’s a question of balance. To attract business here, we need to use all the tools we have in our belt to help shape an attractive economic development picture. The people who get those jobs won’t care how the company got here.
4. Do you think the county should make funding the Connect Buncombe greenways a high priority? (Yes/No) Why?
No. Commissioners are charged with being responsible stewards of the county’s tax dollars, and with the upcoming property re-evaluation we’re potentially looking at a sharp decrease in revenues — not to mention the budget is a mess. Anything non-essential shouldn’t be a priority right now. Jobs are the priority.
5. What’s the most important role of county government in job creation?
County government doesn’t create jobs, but it can create a more job-friendly environment. We should review each ordinance to see which ones need retooling to make it easier to do business here in Buncombe County. And keep taxes low — let’s grow the tax base, not the tax rate.