Pratik Bhakta

Pratik Bhakta, Asheville City Council candidate

Pratik Bhakta
pratik4citycouncil.com

Occupation: Hotelier

Previous candidacy: None

Affiliations: Did not provide

Short-answer questions

Why are you running for City Council?
I am running to make a difference. I am passionate about Asheville and want to see our city thrive. However, we need better fiscal responsibility in our budgeting process and we need better accountability for meaningful results. Our spending is accelerating at an unsustainable rate.

What relevant experience makes you a good candidate for City Council?
I am a local small-business owner. We started with a mom-and-pop business of a small independent motel and worked our way up to bigger motels. In the process, I’ve learned how to effectively manage and make decisions that impact our operational budget, capital expenditures and quality control.

What do you bring to City Council that other candidates don’t?
Simply put, my business experience. The city is a municipality that manages the budget and allocates resources and spending. Revenues come in by the tax dollar, and those funds are then effectively managed and allocated where the city needs it most.

What three achievable goals would you champion in the next two years?
1) Fiscal responsibility. 2) Increase revenues from city-held properties. 3) Cut wasteful spending.

What is one recent City Council decision you don’t agree with and how would you have handled it differently?
I do not agree with the increase in cost by burdening our taxpayers with added cost of the RADTIP. Somewhere, someone dropped the ball, which is going to cost our citizens money in increased taxes. Spending and reasonable budgeting would have prevented these costly oversights.

What makes Asheville home to you?
I grew up here. This is what I’ve called home for over 33 years. I went to school here, my children go to school here. My livelihood is here. I am deeply rooted in Asheville and have invested in Asheville my whole life. I firmly believe that Asheville is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the nation, full of wonderful, diverse people!

Yes-or-no questions

Is the city effectively managing its finances?
No.

Should the city do more to manage the pace of hotel development?
Did not answer.

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?
Yes.

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?
Did not answer.

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?
No.

Are the city’s current affordable housing strategies sufficient?
Did not answer.

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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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