Linda Southard, Republican, candidate for District 3, Buncombe County Commissioners

Party Republican
Slogan Elect a Citizen, Not a Politician
Profession Businesswoman and successful entrepreneur
Residence Candler
Funding Mostly self-funded.
Endorsements Buncombe County Board of Education member Lisa Baldwin, Buncombe Forward

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 favor following the recommendations of the Review Committee, who spent many months gathering and reviewing the facts about our water system and can separate the facts from emotion.

2. Do you support granting domestic-partner rights and/or benefits to Buncombe County employees? (Yes/No) Why?
The current cost of the county benefit package for Buncombe Co. employees is 48 percent of salary. This is extraordinarily high, since the benefit cost in the private sector is 20 to 30 percent. I favor granting benefits only to county employees.

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?
I prefer focusing on streamlining and reducing costly, needless fees and regulations, and lowering business taxes, so that employers will want to locate in Buncombe County and can thrive here.

4. Do you think the county should make funding the Connect Buncombe greenways a high priority? (Yes/No) Why?
I prefer that private sources, not county tax revenues, fund greenways.

5. What’s the most important role of county government in job creation?
The role of government is to foster/create a climate that is business-friendly. This is done by reducing regulations that are costly and hamstringing our business, and lowering taxes and fees.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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