THE WENOCA GROUP OF THE SIERRA CLUB 2011 ENDORSEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE
1) Would you like your candidacy to be endorsed by the Sierra Club and why?
I’m happy to receive endorsements from any group interested in my candidacy.
2) Are you a member of the Sierra Club or any other environmental group?
No, I am not a member of the Sierra Club or any other environmental group.
3) What environmental issues have you been involved with? Did you achieve any success?
I have not been involved with any environmental issues.
4) What do you anticipate will be the most important environmental issues you will face if elected? What actions do you plan to take to address these issues?
The most important environmental issue I anticipate facing if elected is the pervasive but false notion that the city needs to reduce its carbon footprint. I will use facts, evidence and logic to educated the public and my colleagues regarding this falsehood and vote against any measure that seeks to satisfy a purely faith-based interference in the economy.
5) Do you consider urban sprawl to be an issue in Asheville, and if so, what would you do to minimize it? Would you support the continuation of the current “density bonus” for new development in the city?
Yes, suburban sprawl is an issue in Asheville. It is caused by zoning, property taxes, over-regulation and ideological policy-making. I do not support the concept of the density bonus, which entices developers to build larger housing complexes so long as they agree to lose money on 20% of their property. The best way to curtail suburban sprawl is to roll back its causes.
6) How would you protect open space in Asheville & Buncombe County?
The protection of private property is the best way to protect open space. Biltmore Estates, Grove Park Inn and Beaver Lake Park are good examples.
7) Given the rapid rate of development in the Asheville area, how would you deal with the problems of building on steep slopes? Would you support making the city’s steep slope ordinances at least as strong as the county’s?
I would advocate for the repeal of the steep slope ordinance and instead advocate for a differential tax on developing environmentally sensitive areas. I would advocate for increased penalties for fraud and failed slope development. I would demand that state legislators strengthen enforcement of the protection of private property in claims of harm from bad development practices.
8) Asheville City Council has done a great deal regarding public transportation. What do you think we need to do to make it more effective? What are your ideas on alternative transportation, e.g. bike paths?
To make public transportation more effective, we need sell our fleet of busses, outsource transit services to a private company and eliminate taxicab licenses and fare mandates. Bike paths are desirable but unaffordable under our present form of government. We need to convert to a public-private partnership form of government to achieve the kind of efficiency that would allow for the enormous expense a system of bike paths would require.
9) Do you think Asheville's storm water and erosion regulations function well and are adequately enforced? Are there enough personnel to adequately monitor environmental regulations?
Asheville’s storm water and erosion regulations function well and are adequately enforced and there are enough personnel to adequately monitor environmental regulations.
10) Given that Global Climate Change is with us, Asheville City council has adopted a number of energy policies including: Cities for Climate Protection, reduction of Asheville’s carbon emissions by 80%, and adoption of LEED Gold Standard for green building.
-Are you familiar with these programs and what other measures would you proposed to reduce our carbon footprint?
-Do you support the continuation of these programs? Are you willing to reinvest all or part of the savings from these programs to continue to increase energy efficiency?
-Would you support putting Solar Panels on city buildings?
The theory of global warming has been proven to be false and there is no need to reduce our carbon footprint. The only practical reason for converting to solar power is cost saving and this form of power production is not cost effective. The LEED certification is a valuable private-sector set of standards that can be adopted voluntarily as individual property owners so choose and for their own reasons.
11) City Council recently voted to reduce water rates for residential users and increase them over the next 5 years for businesses and other larger users to reduce the amount that residents subsidize business users. Some would like to repeal or delay this effort. Do you support or oppose efforts to change this recent decision?
I oppose efforts to unfairly treat businesses differently and charge them more for water. Charges for water should be based on actual usage and market rates.
12) The Planning and Zoning Commission has increased authority to approve new building construction in Asheville rather than city council. Would you support the appointment of more neighborhood leaders and other citizens who do not have ties to the development industry to this commission?
I support appointing members to the Planning and Zoning Commission who have knowledge, experience and expertise in matters that come before that advisory body, including those with ties to the development industry.
13) Would you be willing to further restrict Electronic Billboards in the city?
I would not be willing to further restrict electronic billboards in the city. Restricting speech is an improper exercise of police power. Citizens can voluntarily choose to patronize businesses who advertise on electronic billboards if they find them unpleasant.
14) Would you be willing to lobby the Tourism Development Authority to help fund Greenways and Parks in Asheville?
I would not be willing to lobby the Tourism Development Authority to help fund greenways and parks in Asheville. Buncombe County government should not be in the business of developing tourism or interfering in the economy in any way and Asheville should fund its own parks and greenways. Under a public-private form of government, Asheville would achieve a substantial savings that would allow for these types of expenditures through a referendum process and only after fundamental core services, such as police and fire, have been adequately addresses.
After filling out this questionnaire please return it by email to: Ken Brame firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to 15 Morning Star Dr., Leicester, NC by August 1, 2011. Interviews will follow.
Thank you for your interest in public service.
Local Sierra Club Political Chair
** UPDATE - THURSDAY AUGUST 4, 2011 **
Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 11:31 PM, Ken Brame
Since you were the first person to return your questionnaire, we would like to offer you the first interview slot for our interviews. Would you be available for an interview this Friday afternoon, August 5th, at 4 PM? We would expect the interview to last no more than one hour.
Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 11:30 PM: Ken Brame of the Sierra Club called to cancel the candidate interview. Why? They just read my answers to their questionnaire.