David Gantt, Democrat: A Commissioner for Everyone

From 1996 to 2016, David Gantt served on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, the governing body for the County. He served as elected Chairman form 2008 until his retirement. During his time in office, David supported quality education for all, affordable housing, creating good jobs, environmental protections and protection of worker rights. He supported equal rights measures to ensure each resident of Buncombe County is treated with respect, dignity, and courtesy regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or political viewpoints. Buncombe County constructed 12 new schools, built a new Courthouse to supplement the renovated 1928 building, and supported the construction of nearly $700 million buildings, libraries, parks, greenways, schools, and government facilities that erased decades of neglect and refusal to support necessary government services. The beautiful mountains around Buncombe County will always be protected due to David’s successful fight for the first zoning law, steep slope and ridge top laws, erosion and water runoff regulations, and a Blue Ridge Parkway overlay. He was awarded WNC Elected Official of the Year, Stepp Labor Leader Award, Environmental Excellence Award, Sierra Club Leadership Award, Circle of Excellence Award, Campbell Regional Leader Award, RiverWise Award during his tenure in office.

In 2017, Buncombe County and the City of Asheville honored him, dedicating Gantt Plaza in the heart of downtown, including a monument to his service.

Some of the new programs and policies adopted by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners during his time on that Board include:

  • Televise all Commission and Community meetings
  • 38 Community meetings in all parts of Buncombe County
  • Interactive Website for Buncombe County
  • Improved customer service and information on Website
  • Offer property tax base via the Website
  • Use inmate labor to reduce taxpayer labor costs
  • Privatize child support collections
  • 98.25% tax collection rate- Consistently one of highest in NC
  • Cut computer costs by $500,000 by lease instead of purchase
  • Replace and modernize 40-year-old voting machines
  • Reduction in force of 75 employees
  • Maintain “AA” bond rating to reduce interest costs and continue ability to borrow money for major projects
  • Consolidate 911 dispatch communications
  • Move Job Link Career Center to AB Tech
  • Obtain $1.3 million grant for electronic data management system
  • Require spay/neuter of pets to decrease costs of shelter program
  • Support bond issues- Construct 3 new middle schools in Enka, Wendy Ridge, and Cane Creek areas to relieve overcrowding
  • Support budget request for computers and increased technology in schools
  • Support teacher supplements to get best teachers possible
  • Construct 4 new libraries in Leicester, Enka, North Asheville, and Fairview
  • Completely renovate 2 existing libraries at Weaverville and South Buncombe
  • Support Biltmore School museum project
  • Support AB Tech- $3 million to help renovate Enka campus
  • No new tax increase for 9 years
  • Support business incentives for new and expanding businesses
  • Insure all County residents have some access to health care by partnering with medical community on Project Access
  • Increase law enforcement officer salaries to reasonable levels
  • Adopt land use regulations- limit inconsistent land uses
  • Adopt mobile home safety and decency standards
  • Ban any new billboards in County
  • Limit new cell tower construction
  • Clean up junk car lots
  • Protect 80 acres of land next to Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Create new kayak and new mountain bike parks
  • Create first class soccer complex at Sand Hill Venable school
  • Limit asphalt plant construction
  • 4 new swimming pools at Enka, Cane Creek, Erwin, and Owen areas
  • Comprehensive household recycling program at land fill
  • Maintain top land fill in United States- EPA Excellence in Leadership Award
  • Obtain $433,000 for Bioreactor at landfill
  • Public/private partnership to create composting facility at landfill
  • Land use plan that helps long range preservation of our quality of life
  • Adopt steep slope construction guidelines
  • Set up land conservation trust board to seek funding for conservation efforts
  • Establish land conservation trust for protection of sensitive land
  • Adopt noise ordinance to help control noise pollution
  • Helped organize Early Action Compact with 5 counties to speed air pollution control efforts
  • Regional Bioterrorism team developed
  • Obtain $300,000 grant for Homeland Security efforts
  • Regional laboratory at Health Department
  • Mental Health Reform action and planning
  • Set up affordable housing trust for innovative programs, building projects
  • Support ongoing housing programs that increase supply of affordable homes
  • Adoption of 1st Rental Code to protect tenants in Buncombe County history
  • Employee health clinic established at no additional costs
  • Support soldiers through 911 recalls and Operation Free Iraq (health insurance and phone cards for military)
  • Bus service to Black Mountain
  • Policies that bring government to the people
  • Support policies to offering the best education possible for our children
  • Protect the beautiful environment we are entrusted with
  • Work to effectively use tax money to keep tax burden as low as possible
  • Partner with current businesses for growth and bring new businesses into area
  • Better paying jobs that improve family life and living conditions for all residents

82 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-252-2852
Toll Free: 800-273-4002
Fax: 828-254-4539

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