Gwen Wisler

Gwen Wisler (I), Asheville City Council candidate.

Gwen Wisler (I)
gwenwisler.com

Occupation: Owner, Asheville Profits LLC

Previous candidacy: Elected to City Council 2013, elected vice mayor in 2015

Affiliations: Democratic Party, Botanical Gardens at Asheville, Sierra Club, Working Wheels, Asheville on Bikes, Blue Ridge Bike Club

Short-answer questions

Why are you running for City Council?
I will work for a safe, vibrant, healthy and accessible Asheville; these values guide my current work on Council.

What relevant experience makes you a good candidate for City Council?
As a member of Council, I chair three Council committees and serve on a fourth committee. I am the liaison for several boards and commissions. I work hard to understand and to listen to all voices before making a decision. I’ve been and continue to be a collaborator.

What do you bring to City Council that other candidates don’t?
Before serving on Council, I was an operational and financial executive for several large companies. My knowledge of how large organizations operate, financial issues and employment issues are additive and unique to the Council.

What three achievable goals would you champion in the next two years?
Improved transit, implementation of the bond programs consistent with resident expectations and improved transparency of the budget.

What is one recent City Council decision you don’t agree with and how would you have handled it differently?
Funding of individual programs outside of the competitive process that has been previously established. This type of funding is unfair to the other programs that adhere to the city’s policies and practices. Funding individual programs outside of the defined process turns into a popularity contest and tends to be more political.

What makes Asheville home to you?
Asheville is beautiful, and our people are unique.

Yes-or-no questions

Is the city effectively managing its finances?
Yes.

Should the city do more to manage the pace of hotel development?
Yes.

Should the city ease its restrictions on short-term residential rentals?
No.

Is the Buncombe County TDA contributing its fair share to help the city manage the impact of tourism?
No.

Should the city budget more money to support nonprofit grassroots initiatives?
Did not answer.

Should more resources be allocated to the Asheville Police Department?
Yes.

Should the city implement election districts for seats on City Council?
No.

Has city staff been sufficiently transparent about the increase in costs for the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project?
Did not answer.

Should the Haywood Street property across from the Civic Center be green space only?
Did not answer.

Are the city’s current affordable housing strategies sufficient?
No.

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About Carolyn Morrisroe
Carolyn Morrisroe served as news editor and reporter at Mountain Xpress. Follow me @CarolynMorrisro

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