Occupation: Municipal budget consultant (small-business owner)
Previous candidacy: None
Affiliations: Graduate of University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania Law School; board member of UNC Asheville Foundation; Democratic Party; South Asheville Resident & Business Community Organization
Why are you running for City Council?
I’m running to ensure that all Asheville residents go to sleep each night feeling safe, fed, healthy and valued. My goals are to ensure City Council focuses on resident and neighborhood needs, that its policies permit only rational and responsible development, and that we diversify our economy to improve wages.
What relevant experience makes you a good candidate for City Council?
I grew up in Asheville and own a small business that provides economic and financial analysis to municipalities across the country, have worked in state government, and have economics and public policy degrees from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
What do you bring to City Council that other candidates don’t?
I help municipalities with their finances for a living, so I bring a strong background in budgeting. I have spent my career helping governments as a public servant, an attorney and as a consultant. I understand local government and know the questions to ask staff to ensure strong oversight.
What three achievable goals would you champion in the next two years?
First, we need five-year projections of operating revenues and expenditures because a one-year budget doesn’t show the full impact of funding decisions. Second, we need development policies that ensure adequate infrastructure exists before building. Third, we need greater collaboration between Asheville, other governments and nonprofits to address issues facing residents.
What is one recent City Council decision you don’t agree with and how would you have handled it differently?
The recent budget process was not transparent enough, and City Council should have published a five-year budget projection to show the budget’s true impact not just for next year, but for years to come — especially in a year where City Council raised taxes to fund more spending.
What makes Asheville home to you?
I grew up in Asheville and moved back because this is where I wanted to raise my family. My parents live here, and my daughter attends public school here. There is something special about this area that I want to make sure we preserve for the next generation.
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?
Did not answer.
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?
Did not answer.
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?