Occupation: Owner, Jan Davis Tire Store
Party affiliation, if any: Democrat
Political experience: Incumbent Asheville City Council, two terms.
Endorsements: Esther Manheimer and Brownie Newman
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign?
Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Albert Sneed - $300
Mike Burke - $250
Brian May - $250
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponents?
Experience: two terms Asheville City Council, former vice mayor, spearheaded refurbishment of Asheville Civic Center by developing partnerships to host the Southern Conference basketball tournament. I was instrumental in formation of the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission and the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission; both are great economic-development tools.
3) What other two Council candidates will you vote for? Why?
Marc Hunt, who I have had the opportunity to know as a friend and have worked with on greenway initiatives. It is too early in the campaign to have decided on another candidate.
4) What specific steps will you take to address Asheville's lack of affordable housing?
I serve on Council's Housing and Community Development Committee, where much of Council's affordable-housing initiatives happen. Housing Trust Fund, CDBG funding allocation, UDO amendendments and Riverfront Redevelopment Commission are tools to create more affordable housing. A partnership to create a mixed-use, mixed-income development on the riverfront is a goal.
5) Do you favor the use of tax exemptions and incentives to promote job growth (e.g., the recent Linamar deal)?
6) Do you support the changes implemented by the Downtown Master Plan, such as raising the threshold for direct Council review of proposed developments?
I voted in support of raising the thresholds but have concerns about the outcome and added to the amendment that it be reviewed after one year.
7) What’s your position on proposed legislation in Raleigh to study the possible seizure of Asheville's water system?
Strongly opposed. Since dissolution of the Water Agreement, Council spent $52 million for refurbishment of the system. I am proud of our stewardship and angry our delegation would consider such unique treatment. I know of no other city treated in this manner.
8) Does Asheville require more infrastructure? If so, what are your priorities and how do you propose to fund them?
More sidewalks, greenways and street repairs are needed. Council initiated an aggressive CIP budget last year; however, it is not adequate. Education and community consensus toward a referendum is a worthwhile goal.
9) A recent study named the Asheville metro area the seventh worst in the nation in terms of food hardship. How do you propose to tackle poverty in the city of Asheville?
I am a supporter of MANNA, MHO, ABCCM and Eblen, nonprofits that do great work. Council supports them and other initiatives through HCD allocations. Asheville-Buncombe Food Security is another opportunity recently forwarded by Councilman Smith that needs consideration.
10) In light of the controversies surrounding the APD and the Human Resources Department, do you believe city government operations require closer scrutiny? If so, what steps do you favor?
Controversies happen in the course of government; we have reacted with expedience and accuracy. Lessons are learned and applied. Council's options in a council/manager form of government dictate we work through our manager to provide services the community requires.