Occupation: Carpenter, interior designer, artist
Previous candidacy: City Council candidate, 2013
Affiliations: Affiliated with the human race
Why are you running for mayor?
I’m running for mayor because I would like to restore the (small) amount of power that City Council has in the structure of our municipal governance. In recent years Council and the mayor have proved to be nothing more than a rubber stamp that approves almost every recommendation of staff.
What relevant experience makes you a good candidate for mayor?
The position of mayor comes with no exclusive authority to do anything, and I have a vast amount of experience in having no authority. I do have experience calling staff out when their numbers don’t add up. I was appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court of Palmetto Boys’ State in 1987.
What do you bring to the position other candidates don’t?
I’m not sure what the other challenging candidates can’t do. What I won’t do is punt difficult issues to special “task forces,” and I will consider being mayor of Asheville as my full-time job, in the office every day, working for Asheville to achieve progress rather than aspire for it.
What three achievable goals would you champion in the next two years?
1) Complete transparency of all financial transactions conducted by the city by way of an online, real-time “bank statement.” 2) Shift our economic development philosophy from a superficial sales pitch of the awesomeness of Asheville to fundamental elements of attraction. 3) Have an open-door mayor’s office so we can talk.
What are the challenges and opportunities facing a mayor of a majority-Democratic city in a majority-Republican state?
The challenge of the entire two-party, Spy vs. Spy, cat-and-mouse political dogma is to quit sniping at each other in a game of “gotcha!” I am registered as an unaffiliated voter and I don’t represent any particular party. I’ll work for sensible solutions to civic problems to serve all of Asheville.
What makes Asheville home to you?
18 years of living at 18 Reynolds Road, (West) Asheville. My house. My love for West Asheville, and the city of Asheville as a whole. Home is where the heart is.
Is the city effectively managing its finances?
Should the city do more to manage the pace of hotel development?
Should the city ease its restrictions on short-term residential rentals?
Is the Buncombe County TDA contributing its fair share to help the city manage the impact of tourism?
Should the city budget more money to support nonprofit grassroots initiatives?
Should more resources be allocated to the Asheville Police Department?
Should the city implement election districts for seats on City Council?
Has city staff been sufficiently transparent about the increase in costs for the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project?
Should the Haywood Street property across from the Civic Center be green space only?
Are the city’s current affordable housing strategies sufficient?