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League of Women Voters Candidate Questionnaire

Age: 41

Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 262 ASHEVILLE, NC 28802

email address: sageforasheville@gmail.com

Website: http://sageforasheville.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sageforasheville/


Position/philosophy statement


I’m running for Asheville City Council because together we can take better care of our community, the people in it, how we grow, and how we thrive.

What experience and qualities do you feel you bring to this office? (700 characters max)

A deep connection to Asheville through raising my family and immersing myself in community here for 20+ years. Expertise in finance. Master's in Urban Planning. Demonstrated commitment to diverse opinions, governing via good policy, coalition building. Leadership on challenging issues, including via service on boards - Family Visitation Center, Manna Food Bank, Living Wage Certification Committee, Success Equation, Asheville Downtown Association, Local Living Economy, THRIVE. I serve as Affordable Housing Committee Chair and Downtown Commission Chair. Employed as Finance & Project Manager for the French Broad Food Co+op. Helped turn around finances, adopt living wages, and prepare for expansion and redevelopment.

What do you think makes you the best candidate for this position? (300 characters max)

My 20+ years of listening & serving with people from all facets of our community; seeing how needs and interests intersect & connect; gathering input for solutions; helping achieve goals. I can jump right in on council and network organizations, leaders & everyday people to build strong coalitions.

Identify your top three (3) issues that you wish to address during your tenure in office and rank them in order of priority. (750 characters max)

Affordable housing. It impacts education, health, financial stability, safety, and generational equity. I will help create 1,000 affordable units by 2025, using my training & experience in planning & leading our Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.


Responsible Smart Growth. Unmanaged growth has pushed us to social, fiscal & environmental instability. Our outdated UDO enables a lack of density & subsequent failing water infrastructure, tree loss, worsening climate resiliency, housing crises & traffic. We can instead adopt a multifaceted plan for the city we want.


Restructure tourism tax spending. It's past time to split the revenues 50/50 & deliver $12.5M annually for resident-serving infrastructure. City, county & CVB must coordinate

What is the first thing you hope to accomplish in your office, if elected? (250 characters)

1000 affordable units. To achieve this: educate & include fellow councilors on affordable housing initiatives, better practices & establishing goals. I'll push until we enact policies, strategies & partnerships for an inclusive, affordable Asheville.

What are your views regarding self-governance (autonomy) of local North Carolina municipalities? When and how should the state legislature intervene?

I'd like to see more municipal control. The state should not be intervening in our airport, water systems, districts, bathroom rules, ability to annex, revenue structures, etc. We could achieve more of our goals if we were allowed to use tools like inclusionary zoning, where a % of units built are required to be rented affordably. If we had the ability to adopt a municipal transit tax, we could help fund the transit master plan. And if we could define the percentage and uses of our lodging tax revenue, we could adjust the rates and advertising dollars to better manage the influx of visitors and the impacts on infrastructure.

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© 2019-2020 by Sage for Asheville. Paid for by Committee to Elect Sage Turner. Treasurer: KeithThomson. Sage for Asheville, P.O. Box 262 Asheville NC 28802.