Local businesswoman Gwen Wisler is the latest candiate throwing her hat in to the race for Asheville City Council.
This year the mayoral position and three council seats are up for grabs. Incumbent city council members Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell are in the race to defend their positions. Mayor Terry Bellamy is stepping down to run for congress in the 10th District. City Council member Esther Meinhemier and former city staffer John Miall are both vying to succeed her.
Here's the full press release from Wisler announcing her run:
ASHEVILLE – Gwen Wisler operates Asheville Profits, LLC, a business consulting company where her clients pay for her work by donating their time to a local non-profit of the client’s choosing. Prior to moving to Asheville in 2006, Wisler served as CEO of the Coleman Company, a well-known outdoor recreation firm. Prior to Coleman, Wisler was president of First Alert, Powermate and Eastpak.
“Asheville is a great community; we care about each other and our beautiful city. I’m excited to do my part in keeping Asheville a special place to live. We face some challenges -- our revenue base may shrink due to state-wide legislation and the cost of city services is rising,” said Wisler. “We need leadership that focuses on the values and needs of our divergent population while keeping an open mind to all solutions.”
Wisler serves as president of the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, volunteers as a consultant with Mountain BizWorks, and serves on the board of Bountiful Cities. Wisler is also a member of the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council, a member of Healthy Buncombe, the secretary-treasurer of her
Democratic precinct, and vice-president of the Grove Park Sunset Mountain Neighborhood Association.
She teaches bicycle safety skills to children and adults and participates in bicycle and pedestrian organizations such as Strive Not to Drive and the Asheville Buncombe Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force.
“A healthy and safe Asheville is my priority,” said Wisler. “I will bring that focus to transportation choices, strong neighborhoods, affordable housing and economic opportunities.”
Wisler, who grew up in Ohio, started her career as a certified public accountant at Price Waterhouse in Atlanta. She is married to Lee Pirtle.