My answers to questions from the League of Women Voters.
Diane G. Davis
905 Fairmont Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
Telephone: (336) 378-4457
Occupation: Retired Small Business Owner
Education and Training: Graduated High School in Savannah, Georgia.
Continuing Education Classes, Workshops and Seminars on Various Subjects.
Recently completed some coursework toward a Political Science Degree from UNCG.
Background or experience that you feel qualifies you for this office: I have been a volunteer and community activist for most of my life. I am familiar with city issues and will bring new ideas and excitement to the council. I am a serious candidate. I have time to devote to the job. I am not a one-time or a one-issue candidate.
1. Why are you running for the city council? (instead of some other office)
Local politics have an immediate effect on our lives I am running for an at-large seat on the Greensboro City Council because I know that I can make a difference in the quality of life in Greensboro. Good government depends on electing strong leaders who will work to improve our community while protecting individual rights and maintaining the family-friendly atmosphere that exists in our city. I believe every individual has a right to be heard. Our present city council shows little respect for individual citizens who approach them with ideas.
2. What is your concept of good city (town) government? How did you develop your concept?
Government should provide essential services and amenities that are not easily done individually. It is the job of city council to decide what level of services will be provided with taxpayer's money. Budget restraints are always a consideration in these matters.
More citizen involvement in deciding what services and amenities are provided is a key goal of mine. Public funding of non-essential projects should be discussed publicly and/or placed on the ballot with proper explanation and cost estimates.
My concept of good city government has been developed by paying attention to what is happening here and in other cities.
3. What issue are you prepared to tackle as your first course of action on the council? Why do you consider this issue to be so important?
We should know what is happening to our trash. Trucking our regular household garbage to transfer stations and then paying private companies to move it to other areas for final disposal is a bad idea. Unsafe dumps are a danger to ground water and can cause other environmental concerns.
A much better option is a regional trash-to-energy program. There is technology available to dispose of garbage in a way that is safe for our land and our air. The city council should start NOW to promote a regional program of resource recovery that will reduce trash going to landfills.
4. What is your foremost environmental concern, and how will you address this issue?
Greensboro is rapidly losing its tree cover and water and air quality are suffering. Better planning and zoning for residential and commercial growth in developed and undeveloped areas is a concern for me. I will continue to encourage mass transit and alternative energy sources. Better options for regional trash disposal is one of my top environmental priorities.
5. What will you do to make certain that all housing in Greensboro meets city standards within the next year?
All housing in Greensboro should be safe and aesthetically pleasing. Assuring that it is that way within the next year is an almost impossible task, but we should never stop trying to improve housing choices and never take our eyes off the goal. I promise to promote safe, family-friendly neighborhoods all over Greensboro and to use taxpayer money in a responsible way to accomplish this goal.
6. Low-density development does not pay for itself in taxes, is harmful to the environment and is an inefficient use of land. What specific policies and regulations would you suggest to reduce urban sprawl?
I disagree with the premise of this question. Controlled density is preferable to unregulated sprawl; however, each of us has an idea of the ideal home place. Forcing high-density living will only accelerate the sprawl problem because outlying land is usually less expensive and some people (like our own hero Daniel Boone) want "elbow room". Mixed use development of housing and commercial land can help solve some of the problems of sprawl.
Using public and private resources to obtain and conserve natural areas and green environments around water supplies and to provide public land where no development is allowed should be encouraged.
7. It is clear that building more highways has not and will not eliminate traffic congestion in the Triad. What specific policies will you work for to facilitate the development of alternatives to the automobile, such as walking, biking and mass transit?
Where convenient low-cost mass transportation is available, many people use it as an alternative to driving. More and bigger roads are only part of the solution to transportation problems. We need more sidewalks and bike lanes and better local and regional bus service.
I have been an advocate of better public transportation, more sidewalks and bike lanes on through streets for many years. Until recently, my suggestions have been largely ignored by most city council members and GDOT.
8. How should water conservation be encouraged and enforced, even in this time of "sufficiency"?
Education is the key to water conservation. The city should continue to provide free water-saving devices for faucets and toilets. Requiring multi-family units to have individual water meters will discourage wasting water. City government can regulate some water uses but the key to conserving water will always be with the individual user.