Sunday, November 30, 2008

City Council Application

Applications for appointment to vacancy on Asheville City Council 2008:

47 Applicants

32 men.
15 women.
41 whites.
2 African-Americans.
1 Hispanic.
3 race unknown.
8 are 18-35 years old.
34 are 36-64 years old.
4 are 65 years or older.
1 age unknown.

[This application did not make the deadline and will not be considered by city council at their December 2 meeting.]

Leslee Kulba
Asheville NC

What motivates you to apply for this position.

The current body, as constituted, is not preserving liberties. I want to be one vote against government coercion. Dollars collected at the force of government should go toward the public good – not master plans by Massachusetts firms pushing business improvement taxing districts, watershed studies, etc. Charged with protecting the rights of my constituents, I would have to shift resources from code enforcement (hassling people with bad taste) to law enforcement (hassling people who steal from and beat up other people). It would not be my job to jabber into the camera until the cows come home, but to be another vote for limiting government to its fundamental responsibility.

Where do you fall on the conservative-liberal spectrum in terms of fiscal and social policy?

I fancy myself to be a strict Constitutionalist, which puts me in the 99th percentile in the correct direction in both spectra. “Liberal” has too many definitions to have meaning. I am a classical liberal in that I believe government should grant no privileges. This is not the opposite of conservatism. With respect to fiscal policy, I believe minimal taxes should be collected for protecting the rights of citizens to pursue their dreams. This means I support a police force and an EMS force. I do not support a recreation force or a zoning force. I also tolerate government competing against the private sector to provide essential infrastructure. The public works department and water department are currently managed well by the city. With respect to social policy, man has a duty to work out his own salvation in his own way in his own timeframe. What people do in their own closets is between them and their God, until it infringes on the rights of others. Then, it becomes government’s business. I am freakingly appalled by policies that punish those with foresight to set up stable households and careers through high moral conduct, by making them support the foolish lifestyle choices of those who want to get drunk and party, leaving behind a trail of kids called mistakes, AIDS, addiction, and other sad consequences major world religions from time immemorial have warned against. Charity works when one is touched by the love and sacrifice of another on his personal behalf, and not when a bureaucrat shuffles reports 'ad nauseum' structuring data for his cases. Government can appropriately intervene in crimes against persons and property. The rest is best left to individual conscience and choice. Election to public office does not transmogrify base metal into omniscient gods. Government programs, as a general rule, do not work.

In your eyes, what should be the top 2 or 3 priorities our city council should be focused on in the upcoming year and why?

Public Safety. That is the 'raison d’etre' of government. I would be incompetent if I was seated in government office, and every week we continued to read about a shooting or stabbing in public housing. This is serious, and we need to acknowledge the limitations of the system and find creative ways to protect the liberties we pledge to uphold and stop acting like we expect Black people to shoot each other up in drug turf wars.

Scaling Back. This is supposed to be a country of limited government. The planning department doesn’t need to be so busy and meticulous it drags the city into expensive lawsuits for violating the liberties government is supposed to protect. The arts should be subsidized by those who appreciate particular works or skills. A one-year moratorium on studies would do more good than harm. The UDO needs to be scrapped and replaced with minimum standards that promote safe and healthy building. People should be able to live in housing made affordable by its smallness and use of economy materials and designs. The city may maintain public spaces, but it should not program them. No state or federal grants should be accepted for local business. Police officers need to be relieved of babysitting duties and stationed more strategically. Transit needs to be efficient.

What do you consider the most crucial problem, need, or cause for the citizens of Asheville? How would you approach its resolution or champion the cause?

Asheville needs to be liberated. Too many special interest groups want to clamp their agenda on others. City council wants to design doorways and parking lots without regard to the design costs and functional necessities of those who will own and occupy the buildings. People have forgotten what made America great. They want to sing the praises of Che Guevara and emulate Fidel Castro’s system of socialized medicine. They blame the stock market problems on deregulation. Citizens should, in the Ancient Roman sense, love and honor the laws of the land, but they can’t because no sane person is going to love, let alone commit to memory, laws that tells them how many inches go between what species of trees, for example. How can anybody write the UDO in their hearts and walk daily by its precepts? When laws are not self-evident, but can be derived only by consulting the books, the exercise of conscience becomes subservient to the wish to stay out of jail. The law should foster conscience. Government needs to be rolled back, and rolled back big-time. If people feel threatened by liberty, they can consider putting forgiveness and tolerance of diversity in action.

I’d like to get a group of volunteers together to knock the UDO down to a masterpiece of elegance and common sense. I would entertain any proposal to abbreviate the Code of Ordinances. I would vote against any unnecessary legislation.

2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years will be financially tough for the city. What will be your top funding priorities, and what would you like to see reduced to balance the budget?

If these questions have not yet been answered, it is because the respondent harbors a disconnect between hopes, wishes, and dreams and revenue streams. Either members of council suffer the same malady, or they have problems understanding the concepts of “necessary and sufficient,” and mutual exclusivity. Excessive regulation is symptomatic of failure to appreciate these concepts. My answers to this question were already provided.