Amanda Ashley | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week
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Amanda Ashley 

Candidate for Carrboro Mayor

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Name as it appears on the ballot: amanda ashley
Full legal name, if different:
Date of birth: August 11, 1955
Home address: 506 North Greensboro Street, #36, Carrboro, North Carolina 27510
Mailing address, if different from home:
Campaign Web site: Facebook: amanda for carrboro
Occupation & employer: Shop girl at Phydeaux.
Home phone: 919. 923. 8362
Work phone: 919. 960. 3606

1a. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Carrboro?

Number one: being proactive regarding the approaching Carolina North campus. Carrboro 2060: think arcology.

Number two: enacting town size limits as regards growth and protecting rural Orange County.

Number three: promoting new town of the artists and the arts identity.

1b. If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?

The 12 Points

1. Identity for 2060 Carrboro - Sustainable and Manageable Living.

2. Town size limit and population cap; ensures rural viability of southern Orange County and makes fiscal planning more realistic and manageable for payers and Town. Zoning and assessment refocus will be necessary. A foresight for incentives for public transportation and less car usage will be required. Infrastructures for electric car recharging should be planned for. A trolley/monorail system, (see also Carolina North) should be highly considered. The aim is the ending of the focus upon the automobile as primary. In Carrboro, the emphasis and right of way is given to the pedestrians. Try life outside of your car and you may not like where you are. Build up as an option, yet with a new architectural model that can grow with the town, the people, and the region. Consider an arcology-type model.

3. Enhanced pedestrian safety and larger pedestrian zones

4. Traffic flow considerations. Human scale, not automobile scale: smart lights at pedestrian zones, radar signs; bike responsibility; car respect. Redirection of downtown traffic is a consideration worth looking at. Perhaps create Weaver Street as One Way?

5. Carolina North Response

a. Simply more cars is not a good option

b. No road widening

c. Increase public transportation

d. Plan for electric trolley system/monorail system

e. Implement electric car public charging stations

f. Begin to think deeply about how this new campus affects the abutting neighborhoods. Being proactive and definitive about the future is about placing Carrboro's interests primary.

6. Tax restraint and future accounting for sustainability

7. Business development

What does Carrboro do best?

Any possible areas for larger scale non-boutique type businesses?

8. Enhance "Town of the Arts" "Nashville of the Piedmont"

Music, film, literature; dance and hoop. The Austin model for health insurance.

9. Latino community input

Que pasha? Tell us what you see and would like to do.

10. IFC plans and the need to address the homeless and street people

No more giving fish, teach to fish. Help to fish. One stop visit and/or telephone number call for social services

11. Light pollution initiatives.

12. What items are on your mind? What do you the public of Carrboro want?

2. What is there in your record as a public official or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be effective on the board? This might include career or community service; but please be specific about its relevance to this office.

This question is irrelevant. I am simply a citizen presenting ideas. Stop being a stooge for the mindset of the status quo.

3. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I am a mixed race, translesbian, Quaker, Wiccan feminist. My political philosophy flows from the combination of those considerations. I am a liberal independent, if you require a label. Once again, it is not about me, yet rather the ideas being presented. Please refer to question # 1.

4. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

My very standing for election is a principled stand. My very being here costs me voters, period. I am a principled stand. Yet even before that answer should be the ideas I put forward, for it is those ideas and not my audition before all the public which should be the focus.

5a. Large building projects like that under way by Main Street Partners and the Greenbridge development just across the line in Chapel Hill will change Carrboro's landscape and it character in the near future. The project at 300 Main Street also will alter the status quo. What is your vision for the town's long-range development?

My vision for Carrboro's development does not include using it as simply building fodder. It does include a recognition that small is good and nurturing that is even better. We have an infrastructure and some really good brains around here. Downtown does not need "redevelopment". It is finely evolving. Once the Main Street Project, as well as others that have been approved yet not commenced construction; as well as the effects of becoming more urban have been understood by all, (a process that may, admittedly, take years: probably a time five years post opening -- in Year 2018 as based on Main Street partners current timetable), then would be the proper time to bring anything else involving Downtown into consideration.

The new Northern Area is a special case and deserves special consideration.

The key here is to move away from an automobile saturated environment to a more people centric and friendly urban structure. Consider something in the small-European-town style.

5b. What are the pros and cons of commercial and residential development?

The pros are that they employ people. The cons: well, the evidence is all around us. Take a step outside of your car and you may not like where you are. Even inside the Beltway.

6a. How will you deal with growth in Carrboro given its limited physical boundaries?

Please refer to the 12 Points, above: #2.

6b. By extension, what are your viewpoints regarding high-density housing and its placement?

A case-by-case basis would be the best approach presently. Since there are several projects pending which will affect real change in the Downtown area, impact assessment is necessary. Residentially, MacMansions work against the idea of high density, as does unaffordable housing. Carrboro's residential in-fill is more tricky that the downtown areas. A tree census would be a really good thing to do right now.

7. In the midst of a difficult economic situation and a tough budget year, what's one thing that the town is cutting that you would save and what's one thing that's been saved that you would cut?

Carrboro is, as far as I can determine, not cutting anything. It is very well fiscally managed.

8a. Do you agree with Community Home Trust Executive Director Robert Dowling that the town's affordable housing policy is not working?

Of course it is not working. The standard model of the building industry here is fixated upon an unsustainable concept: the concept which just brought about a planetary economic crisis of gargantuan proportions. Remember?? Why not build homes people can actually afford for awhile? The problem is not about making affordable housing accessible, it is about no longer making unaffordable housing the status quo.

8b. If so, what needs to be done to correct this?

Cease selling the MacMansion idea to homebuyers. Consumers cease buying more than they need. Implement existent architectural ideas for realistic housing priced under $100,000. Cease considering rural areas as a consumable commodity.

8c. As for public housing, how should the town continue to manage these developments in light of reduced federal funding?

See the Club Nova model. Even considering the current funding crisis it still works.

9. What makes Carrboro unique to you? How would you preserve that while advancing it?

Why I Am Doing This

I love Carrboro. It is people scale. And I do not think we will have this sort of nurturing community in 50 years unless we conscientiously think about what we would like to create for future people of like mind.

Neither uncontrolled nor controlled sprawl is inevitable. Controlled sprawl is not the only method by which growth might occur. We can plan for and profit from a new mode of thinking. Perfecting our living space and nurturing what we have until it is perfect. Lots of room for growth there.

Local action means being aware of our relevance to the planet. Do we buy salmon? Do we burn gasoline? Do we not know where air comes from? The 12 Points as I have put forth preserves Carrboro as a human community as well as advances Carrboro structurally and fiscally into the mid 21st century.

10a. What important town departments or agencies have been, in your opinion, chronically underfunded?


10b. What have been the ramifications of that shortage?


10c. If elected, where would you find the money to more fairly fund these areas? Conversely, what department or agency budgets could be cut?

The question is moot. Things are pretty cool in Carrboro.

11a. Earlier this year, the board heard a fiscal presentation about a pay-as-you-throw trash system. What do you think of the system from a financial, environmental and practical standpoint?

It deserves further consideration. People need to pay for the trash they generate. Ancillary to the current system, sure, it works.

11b. If you approve, how would any additional costs be covered? If you disapprove, what are some alternatives?

Envelopes in the mail and connected to a database. People need to know there is cost to buying so much useless stuff with trash attached. Or, they should involve themselves in the process which moves it out of their living rooms.

12a. Carrboro emphasizes locally owned, import-substituting economic development. What is your opinion of that policy?

It has succeeded brilliantly.

12b. Has it, in your view, succeeded?

Wildly successful would be my opinion. .

12c. How can it be improved?

By doing more of it, and that is the heart of why I am here presenting its forward movement into the 12 Points.

12d. What is the town doing and what more should it be doing to support small businesses during the economic recession?

The Town supports small business by making the Town actually work and run well, being thus conducive to business and fostering a positive environment for people. The revolving Loan Fund is working well. It should support the 12 Points I present. Since Carrboro is an artist's and musician's town, I would like to investigate the Town sponsoring or creating a medical insurance plan which provides low and no cost medical services to working artists and musicians. A similar plan in Austin, Texas seems to be working.

13a. Do you believe there is enough citizen participation in Carrboro?


13b. What would you do to improve it?

Hold an election. Ask them what they want. Implement.

13c. How can leaders make government more accessible and responsive to citizen needs and concerns?

Actually listening to citizens would go a long way.

13d. How do students fit in?

They fit in extremely well, when they care to get involved on an on-going basis with an understanding of the non-transient community's needs and directions.

14a. The 10-year plan to end homelessness is underway. Do you think it's been effective thus far?


14b. What accountability measures are or should be in place?

See the 12 Points, #10.

14c. What are the hurdles to accomplishing it?


14d. How can the town overcome those obstacles?

It really is not the Town's (as defined by the corporate entity know as the Town of Carrboro) responsibility to do so. It is however the people of the town of Carrboro, also known as the town, who have this task. We are working on it.

14e. What is not in the plan that should be?

Money, and existent compassion supported by the outer private sector.

15a. What's your vision for Smith Level Road?

Not what the NC DOT has in mind for it.

15b. Will it eventually need to be widened?

The dilemma about this that that once you widen this part it makes it very easy for the NC DOT to widen the damn road all the way down to 15-501, encourage over-development, and ruin everything. No. Additional automobiles cannot be reverse-funneled into this area anymore. Carrboro is full, and holding onto the nice essence of a walkable, people-oriented area will be ruined with the plans currently being floated. A round-a-bout for the entrance into Carrboro High School may work, but the rest of the plan is a mess. Again, some more creative minds need to be brought to the table to solve this one.

15c. How can the town move forward with adding bike lanes and sidewalks to this Carrboro High artery?

It cannot do that in a safe manner until the ugly attitudes of drivers and their bad habits regarding people moving about in something other than a car have changed. This entire scenario needs to be reviewed and perhaps renewed from the beginning.

37 actual questions

  • Candidate for Carrboro Mayor

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