MEET THE CANDIDATES: Davidson Commissioner

  

Pictured above: Jane Campbell and Autumn Rierson Michael – Pictures courtesy of the candidates

DAVIDSON, N.C. (WSIC NEWS) – WSIC is surveying local candidates ahead of the 2019 municipal elections. All candidates were sent the same survey. Answers by candidates may have received light editing that does not impact the content of their answers.

Jane Campbell

What political party are you affiliated with?

I am a registered Democrat, but our town board election is nonpartisan.  I have not sought partisan endorsement or support, as I believe we should do our best to represent all the citizens of Davidson.

Why are you running for this position?

I continue to believe that I have an opportunity to give back to the Town of Davidson.

What qualifies you for this role?

I am 1-term incumbent, who ran for office as a 26-year military veteran. I am also a Davidson alumna, who has a more than 35-year connection to this community.

What changes would you make if elected?

I would continue the efforts that my colleagues and I have made during this past term to ensure open, transparent decision-making in the Town of Davidson.

What issues/problems do you notice and how are you going to address them?

I continue to press the issue of available, affordable housing in our community. There is not one solution, and we need to continue to support efforts to keep our neighbors in their own homes whenever possible; increase our number of affordable rental properties – including apartments; continue to support down-payment assistance programs; as well as improve upon existing land trusts to preserve homes in our historically African-American neighborhood.

What are some of the beneficial/positive things you notice and how are you going to maintain/improve them?

We need to continue with the open, transparent deliberations by the Town Board. We don’t agree on all the issues, all the time – and we shouldn’t. Citizens have seen our disagreements unfold in respectful dialogue at the dais.

Why should voters choose you?

I continue to do my best to represent all the citizens of Davidson. I will also continue to bring my fiscally responsible decision-making to our deliberations.

What are some of your main goals/objectives you hope to accomplish if you’re elected to this position?

1) PUBLIC FACILITIES: I hope that citizens will approve a general obligation bond to allow the town to move forward with our public facilities. In addition to the main building, we will have the opportunity to master plan the entire 5-acre site at 251 South Street. (2) AVAILABLE, AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Davidson has long had a commitment to affordable housing, and I want to help lead the efforts to make 21st century decisions to ensure that we remain at the forefront of this important to help ALL of our citizens. Davidson was named one of the wealthiest communities in N.C, and yet we also have a larger percentage of the population in the lowest end of the economic earning chart than the city of Charlotte.

Have you ever held any position(s) before in public office? If so, what position(s) and when?

I have served on the Town Board since December 2017.

In the community where you are running, what are your favorite activities/things to enjoy?

I spend a lot of my time supporting our neighbors facing housing insecurity and homelessness. I’m also a big Davidson sports fan, and you can find me at a lot of events taking pictures for our nonprofit community information web site.

Compare and contrast yourself to your opponent(s).

My colleagues and I are not all alike, and I think that is a good thing. I don’t know much about the 2 challengers in our race, but I look forward to learning more about their backgrounds and the reasons they are running.


Steve Cook

Did not respond to WSIC’s candidate survey


Matthew Fort

Did not respond to WSIC’s candidate survey


Jim Fuller

Did not respond to WSIC’s candidate survey


Autumn Rierson Michael

What political party are you affiliated with?

Democrat

Why are you running for this position?

While we were able to work on some exciting initiatives in my first term, there is still much work to be done, including seeing through some of these initiatives, such as designating a local historic district, the comprehensive land use plan, the fate of the 251 South Street building, and potentially selling Continuum (MI-Connection), among others. I also think we need to create a comprehensive approach to affordable housing, and I would hope to pursue that in a second term, if elected.

What qualifies you for this role?

In addition to my previous term served in office, I think my experience as a land use lawyer, and long-time and involved resident of the town of Davidson qualify me for this role.

What changes would you make if elected?

Mostly, I would like to see through initiatives we began last term and have yet to complete. (See above answer).

What issues/problems do you notice and how are you going to address them?

I think we made great strides with initiatives related to the protection of community character, but there is still far to go. I would hope the implementation of the mobility and comprehensive plans would help address some of our issues around transportation and development.

What are some of the beneficial/positive things you notice and how are you going to maintain/improve them?

I think we have made great strides as a Board around transparency and communications, so I would hope to continue in that vein. The establishment of Beaty Park has been an incredible result this past year, and I hope we can continue to improve the park experience. I think there is much work to be done still on affordable housing all over town, and gentrification/loss of community character concerns in West Davidson that we still need to help address and resolve.

Why should voters choose you?

I think my experience as an incumbent, as well as professional expertise in land use planning, conservation, and historic preservation make me uniquely qualified, in addition to my problem-solving and bridge-building temperament.

What are some of your main goals/objectives you hope to accomplish if you’re elected to this position?

1)Preservation of Community Character  2) Growing and Stewarding our Parks and Greenways 3) Creating and Implementing a Comprehensive Plan for Affordable Housing

Have you ever held any position(s) before in public office? If so, what position(s) and when?

I served in this role as a Davidson Commissioner from 2017-2019.

In the community where you are running, what are your favorite activities/things to enjoy?

I enjoy hiking our trails at Fisher Farm and West Branch NP, as well as kayaking and rowing in Lake Davidson. I also really enjoy listening to music at Summit on Friday nights while our children run around with their friends. I’m also fond of our local Davidson Farmer’s Market and the Bradford Store for our local and sustainable food, and our weekends wouldn’t be complete without a walk or bike ride on campus.

Compare and contrast yourself to your opponent(s).


David Sitton

Did not respond to WSIC’s candidate survey


John Stroup

Did not respond to WSIC’s candidate survey


 

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