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Issues

I believe in a safe, healthy, vibrant and accessible Asheville. These values drive every decision I make as a Councilwoman. I work in a collaborative manner with other Council people, residents and City staff. No Council Member is able to accomplish anything on their own and while the following discussion will highlight accomplishments during my tenure, I, in no way, claim that I alone am responsible for this work. I’m honored to serve and work with other people to make Asheville a great place to live, work and play.

SAFE

Police and Fire

Our police officers and firefighters work hard to protect Asheville. I’ve supported funding these departments in a responsible manner. In our difficult political climate, our public safety employees need to work with all communities to build and retain trust. I strive to balance the needs of our community for protection and equity.

Safe Streets

During my tenure, the City has defined and funded a neighborhood sidewalk improvement program in addition to the bond monies which will drastically improve streets and sidewalks. The River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project will include bicycle safety infrastructure that will enhance cyclists’ experience; I have been and will be a promoter of bicycle lanes, bike parking lots and other bicycle safety enhancements. I support lowered speed limits in the city and enforcement of those lowered speeds.

Asheville Citizen-Times 2016-10-23 Sidewalks Editorial

Asheville Citizen-Times 2016-10-16 Hendersonville Road Sidewalks

Asheville Citizen-Times 2016-06-29 25 MPH Speed Limits?

Asheville Citizen-Times 2015-05-20 Pedestrian Safety

Asheville Citizen-Times 2015-01-31 Pedestrian Safety

HEALTHY

Multi-Modal Transportation

We have consistently improved bus transit service including Sunday service. I will go all-out to find funding sources for even better service improvements for our bus service. Riding a bus encourages walking and interaction with your city and your fellow residents – very healthy choices.

Asheville Citizen-Times 2016-04-28 Bike Corral

Preserving and Enhancing Green Spaces

I support public policy that provides people with safe spaces for physical activity. I’ve consistently voted for responsible greenway expansion including identifying outside funding sources to lower the total cash outlay for the City. We need to make sure that our green spaces are located in areas accessible to lower income residents.

Increasing Access to Healthy Foods

The City has committed to the Food Action Plan which focuses on increasing access to healthy, affordable and local foods. We’ve included edible plantings in our plans for various greenways and public projects.

Environmental Issues

I support the City’s carbon reduction footprint goals, the Clean Energy Task Force and landfill reduction programs.

VIBRANT

Local Businesses

Partnering with our local businesses and encouraging the relocation of businesses to Asheville are important. Through my company, Asheville Profits LLC, I guide businesses to improve profits and grow their businesses. I continue to encourage the City to streamline permitting processes and development guidelines; I applaud such initiatives as the Restaurant StartUp Guide, which walks an entrepreneur through the process of navigating the City’s rules.

Jobs

The City pays a living wage to all of its employees! The City serves as a role model to other local businesses. We encourage all employers in Asheville to do this. Through our partnership with the Chamber’s Economic Development arm, we’ve brought good living wage jobs to the city. Asheville is an expensive place to live; while I encourage initiatives around promoting affordable housing and transportation, the other side of that equation is great jobs.

Asheville Citizen-Times 2015-09-23 City Provides Living Wage

ACCESSIBLE

Affordable Housing

I’m pleased to serve on the City’s Housing and Community Development Committee. I support the redevelopment of Lee Walker Heights; the more user friendly Land Use Incentive Grant; and the continued funding of partnerships with private developers that provide affordable housing.

Asheville Citizen-Times 2016-12-28 Rental Market Analysis

Equity

I whole-heartedly support the upcoming equity study that will take a deep-dive into City policies and procedures to show us how we can improve access to employment, business relationships and City services to diverse groups of people. We strive to identify ways to honor and promote underserved communities by listening for ways that improve quality of life. We’ve supported many programs that address inequities.

Asheville Citizen-Times 2016-06-12 City Council Wants Diversity

Open Data and Technology

I strongly advocate transparency in government and proudly support our designation as an Open Data city. This means that the City of Asheville allows people access to information that had previously been difficult to retrieve. The City has also improved the public’s ability to report issues such as potholes and graffiti. We continue to improve the City’s website to make it easier to navigate.

GOVERNING AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

Standard & Poor's has given the City of Asheville a AAA credit rating, the highest rating attainable by a government entity. This indicates that our fiscal management is strong and improves our ability to borrow funds at lower interest rates. I excel on fiscal responsibilities and have worked with City staff to decrease City subsidies to facilities that are widely used by non-city residents such as the Nature Center and Aston Tennis Center. I want to continue to serve and participate in the development of the long-term maintenance plan for all of our facilities, a project currently underway by staff. We are identifying and assessing all of our relationships with community groups to determine that the partnerships are working and that negative surprises are reduced.

Asheville Citizen-Times 2017-06-11. City staff pushing for pay hike

Mountain Xpress 2017-03-17 Nature Center Subsidies

Mountain Xpress 2016-05-19 Comprehensive Plan

Cooperation

I serve on numerous committees and commissions that work with groups outside of the City of Asheville. We need to be cooperative with our surrounding communities such as Buncombe County and other counties; we need to find projects and initiatives that benefit all of us.

Mountain Xpress 2017-01-13 Boards and Commissions



Committee to Elect Gwen Wisler
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