9th Generation Buncombe County Farmer Seeks County Commissioner Seat
Trusted and Proven Leadership on Agriculture, Conservation, Education, and Rural Resiliency
Democratic Candidate for District 1; Election Day is November 3, 2020
Questionnaire – Mountain Express January 28, 2020
Responses to Questionnaire – Terri Wells for Commissioner
1. What makes Buncombe County home to you?
As a 9th generation Buncombe County farmer who has an abiding love for this community, its people, its farms and mountains, my roots are deep. After a little over a decade of living and traveling elsewhere, I was drawn back to these mountains, as so many people are, to make a home and serve our community. I care deeply about this place and want to ensure that it continues to be the place we all want to call home.
2. What do you bring to the Board of Commissioners that other candidates don’t?
As a farmer and teacher, I bring values and experience to the commission that no other candidate does. I understand how hard-working and passionate both teachers and farmers are and how committed they are in contributing to our community, in spite of the challenging economic situations they face. I bring a unique combination of strong work ethic, passion for service, honesty, and a track record of responsible stewardship of resources to work on behalf of the people of Buncombe County.
3. What do you see as the greatest specific need for your district compared to the rest of Buncombe County, and how would you propose meeting it?
High quality, high speed, affordable broadband. This is an economic, education, public safety, and health care issue. And we want our younger generations to stay in our communities and thrive; they demand better Internet service. I was aware of the need in our rural communities (Sandy Mush, Ox Creek, Barnardsville), and knew that Leicester needs much better service. However, constituents in Weaverville and Asheville also report inadequate service. We must do better. In 2020, broadband is a basic utility necessity.
4. How will you maintain Buncombe County’s quality of life as the region’s population continues to grow?
I am known for being a good steward and I will implement careful planning and resource management to protect what we love and improve our quality of life. By permitting only the sustainable growth we want and need and conserving our natural assets, we can maintain our character. We must bring people together and have a broad vision that includes strong schools, economic opportunity, improved transportation, high-quality broadband internet, affordable housing, recreational opportunities and conservation of our natural resources.
5. In the wake of the continuing federal corruption investigation, what steps will you take to ensure that county government spending is handled fairly and transparently?
As a Commissioner I would ensure that we provide transparency with our decision-making process, budgets, and spending. The county conducted nationwide searches and hired a new county manager and assistant county managers who are experienced and expecting to be held to high standards. I will use my oversight and budget management experience, and my stewardship and integrity to ensure that our county commission and our county management are accountable to the people we serve — which is everyone in Buncombe County.
6. What actions would you undertake to fight climate change and support the county’s goal of powering all government operations with renewable energy by 2030?
I will bring people together to ensure that we proactively work as a community to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We must have a broad vision. In addition to investing in renewable energy, we need to be good stewards of natural resources that help with carbon sequestration, by conserving large intact forests and by using soil conservation practices. We must assess best management practices in transportation and planning, and provide staff with the tools needed to meet our goals.
Questionnaire – Asheville Citizen-Times February 14, 2020
Responses to Questionnaire – Terri Wells for Commissioner
- What role, if any, should the county play in affordable housing?
In order for us to have a sustainable and vibrant community, we need quality affordable housing that meets the needs of our young families, our seniors, teachers, firefighters and many more who serve our community. Yes, our county does have a role to play, and you can count on me to work collaboratively on a comprehensive strategy that, in addition to affordable housing, will include good paying jobs and strong public schools, because those are the components of a sustainable, affordable community.
2. Should the county try to preserve farmland and open natural areas? Why or why not? If so, how?
Yes. My perspective is deeply rooted in my experiences in our farming community. Farmland can provide food, jobs, pollinator habitat, reduce runoff, and mitigate climate impacts. Open spaces can support wildlife, reduce runoff, and mitigate climate impacts. Both maintain the character of this place we love, which is essential to our quality of life. As Ag Advisory Board Vice-Chair, I am proud of our work to conserve family farms. We’ve leveraged $3 million in state and federal funds for conservation-minded farmers. As Commissioner, I’ll be dedicated to preserving family farms, mountains, streams, and open spaces for generations to come.
3. Do you support giving $1 million to the city transit system? Why or why not?
I support working with the city to address the issues of improving the accessibility and efficiency of our public transit system. We must strategically assess what will improve the quality of our system and then address budgeting issues based upon those facts.
4. Do you believe the county still has further to go in improving transparency and oversight in light of the federal corruption investigation? Why or why not?
Yes. As a Commissioner I will ensure that we provide transparency with our decision-making process, budgets, and spending. The county conducted nationwide searches and hired a new county manager and assistant county managers who are experienced and expecting to be held to high standards. I will use my oversight and budget management experience, and my stewardship and integrity, to ensure that our county commission and our county management are accountable to the people we serve — which is everyone in Buncombe County.
Issues and Priorities – Buncombe County Commissioner Candidate Terri Wells
Protecting Farms & Forests
Terri serves as Vice-Chair of the Buncombe County Agricultural Advisory Board. She has helped leverage more than 3 million in state and federal funds to conserve family farms across our county.
Farming & Stewardship
Terri is a ninth-generation Buncombe County farmer from Sandy Mush. Her perspective is deeply rooted in the community-minded spirit and strong work ethic of her farming community.
It is imperative that we are good stewards of our resources so that we can thrive today and in the future. We must focus on addressing the challenges posed by climate change by adapting to the differences we are experiencing, as well as working to mitigate them. – Terri Wells
Equity & Inclusion
Terri will ensure that fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people is a top priority. Terri will seek and include the participation and leadership of all community members.
Public Health & Safety
Public health and safety are essential services of our local government. Terri recognizes that mental health is essential to overall health. Terri supports health care providers and first responders.
I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I acknowledge that racial injustice exists and persists in our community. I will ensure that our policies and priorities promote racial justice and equity so that everyone has the opportunity to feel safe and thrive. – Terri Wells
Terri will ensure that our schools get the support they need to provide our children a quality education. Terri taught high school English in North Carolina public schools. Terri earned a Master’s in Education.
Terri will ensure that our children get the support they need to benefit from a quality education. Terri worked as the Director of Academic Coach and Scholarship Programs for the Asheville City Schools Foundation.
We must ensure that every child receives a quality education, Pre-K through 12, and that every Buncombe resident has access to life-long learning opportunities. A quality education is the foundation to improving quality of life and the door to opportunity. – Terri Wells
Through a years-long collaborative effort, Terri helped bring high-speed Internet to the Sandy Mush Community Center.
As Director of Community and Agricultural Programs for WNC Communities, Terri works with people from across WNC.
We must ensure that everyone has access to high quality Broadband. This is a priority so that everyone, no matter where they live, has the ability to get a quality education, access their healthcare needs, and have economic opportunity. From farmers to entrepreneurs, we need to invest in our homegrown talent. – Terri Wells
Terri will address climate change with policies for both fighting & adapting.
Terri will steer responsible growth that protects our character & sustainability.
Greenways and recreational assets improve quality of life and create healthier, more livable communities.
Distributing Hotel Taxes
Tax dollars raised from tourism should be spent wisely and in service to our residents.
Video Journals & Issues Discussions – Terri Wells for Commissioner
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About Democratic Candidate Terri Wells for Buncombe County Commissioner
Terri Wells taught high school English in North Carolina public schools. Terri earned her BA at UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master’s in Education from University of Colorado at Boulder. Terri worked as the Director of Academic Coach and Scholarship Programs for the Asheville City Schools Foundation. Terri serves us as Vice-Chair of the Buncombe County Agricultural Advisory Board. Terri is a ninth-generation Buncombe County farmer, who currently works as Director of Community and Agricultural Programs for WNC Communities.. Terri grew up in Sandy Mush, where she lives today with her husband Glenn Ratcliff, who is also a Buncombe County native. Glenn teaches Chemistry at A-B Tech Community College.
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Testimonials for Terri Wells from Throughout Buncombe County
Click or tap on each image to better see the content and to launch the gallery. To submit your own testimonial, email your photo and a personal message to: terriwellsforcommissioner @ gmail . com (remove the extra spaces). We’ll contact you to follow up. Thank you!
Endorsements of Terri Wells for Commissioner
Terri Wells is endorsed by farmers, educators, and community leaders throughout District 1 and Buncombe County, and Terri is endorsed by the Sierra Club and Equality NC, including
Vanessa Campbell & Alex Brown, Full Sun Farm • Jerry Roberts, Cherry Lane Farm
Aaron & Annie Grier, Gaining Ground Farm• Bruce Snelson, Snelson Farms
Jamie Ager, Hickory Nut Gap Farm • Dianne & Jeff Frisbee, Addison Farms Vineyard
Anthony Cole, Jasperwood Farm • Ronnie & Becky Caldwell, Caldwell Farms
Katie Grear & Mike Adams, Lady Luck Flower Farm • Tara Adinolfi, Ostara Farm
Mark & Donna Diaz, Crosscreek Farm • David Snelson, Sycamore Valley Farm
Shannon Morgan, SD Morgan Farms • Mandy Hornick, Blue Ridge Blooms
Paul & Pat Gallimore, Long Branch Environmental Education Center
Kevin Duckett, Duckett Farm • Gary & Leisa Roberts, Sunset Farm of Alexander
K. Ray Bailey • Doug Jones • Sam Smathers • Kenet Adamson
Bruce & Carol Peterson • Charlotte Moore • Pat Deck
Ellen J. Perry • Dr. Sandy Anderson • Betsy Wilson • Peggy Baldwin
Jerry Plemmons • Steve & Renne Ensley • Jewel & Howard Bridges
Joan Creasman • Copland Rudolph • Kate Pett • William Hamilton
Ways to Help
You Can Help Elect Terri Wells to Buncombe County Commission
Thank you for being willing to can help Terri win the General Election on November 3, 2020. Terri appreciates your financial contribution and also the gift of your time and energy. You can donate online or by mail, volunteer, sign up for our newsletter, follow Terri on Facebook, and subscribe to Terri’s YouTube channel. Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible for Terri to win the March 3rd Democratic Primary with more than 66 perent of the vote.
Donate to Terri Wells for Commissioner
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Terri Wells would appreciate your vote for Buncombe County Commissioner in District 1 in the November 3 General Election. Every registered voter in Buncombe County’s District 1 can vote in this election. Terri won the Democratic Primary on March 3rd with more than 66% of the vote.
Help Elect Terri Wells to Buncombe County Commission
You can help Terri win the General Election on November 3, 2020. Terri appreciates your financial contribution and also the gift of your time and energy. Please make a donation, volunteer, or sign up for our newsletter. Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible for Terri to win the March 3rd Democratic Primary with more than 66 perent of the vote. Terri is a candidate for District 1.
Paid for by Terri Wells for Commissioner. Mailing address: P.O. Box 18741, Asheville, NC 28814.