Name: Chris Turner (Full name: Agnes Christine Turner)
What office are you running for? Charlotte City Council - District 7
Neighborhood: Burning Tree on Colony
Political Experience: I am a first time candidate. However,I have campaigned for candidates for 25 years. That includes local from School Board to City and County. I have campaigned for Presidential and Senatorial candidates. I was a one of a handful of founders of MeckPAC during the late 1990's. Through MeckPAC we worked to elect fair and open minded candidates that are supportive of the LGBTQ issues and concerns.
Family: My partner is Abigail H. Kerr. We have been together for 17 years. We have three cats and one dog.
Work Experience: Ten years with Charlotte Orthopedic Clinic as Assistant Office Manager; 30 years with Allstate Insurance Company. Held managerial and technical positions during my tenure. I was a Systems Analyst when I retired in 2006.
1) Why are you running for office?
I want to offer an alternative to the thinking of the current representative. I am open and my policies inclusive. I want to listen to all of the residents in District 7 to learn about and work on their concerns.
2) What would be your top priorities if elected?
1) Public Safety - insure that CMPD and CFD have the resources and equipment required to do their job. Pass the Non-Discrimination Ordinance to protect the LGBTQ community. 2) Transportation - I want to see us revisit the 2030 Transportation Plan. Determine it's applicability to our current transportation needs. Revise, if necessary, based on the needs of all areas of the city. Put a plan in place to implement. 3) Workforce housing throughout the city. Our current program to offer incentives to developers to incorporate this into their development is not working. We need change this current policy to obtain the buy in from developers.
3) Would you support the city's proposed expansion of its non-discrimination ordinance to include the LGBT community, including a provision that would allow transgender residents to use the bathroom of their choice?
4) Do you support the N.C. DOT's plans to add express toll lanes to Interstate 485 in south Charlotte and U.S. 74? Or would you prefer to widen the highways with general-purpose free lanes?
I do not support toll lanes. Any future expansion needs to be general purpose. However, we need to be moving our city toward more ways of transporting our citizens. This would include rail, better scheduling of bus routes, walkable and bike friendly/safe communities.
5) Would you support spending hospitality tax dollars to renovate or rebuild the county owned Memorial Stadium in hopes of the city winning a Major League Soccer franchise?
We have had great success with the soccer games that have been held in the Bank of America Stadium. However, there would need to be a collaboration between the team and business partners to support this effort. Using hospitality tax dollars should occur only if we can insure a return on the investment.
6) Would you support an increase in the general sales tax to support more transit projects, such as additional miles of streetcar and a commuter train to Lake Norman?
The 2030 Transit Plan is currently being studied to determine how to finance it. Transportation projects need to be evaluated to determine where we have the greatest economic need and congestion problems.
7) There has been a significant amount of redevelopment in neighbors close to uptown, with older, sometimes historic buildings being demolished for new apartments. Would you support more restrictions on tear-downs?
I feel we need to look to the commission that oversees historical sites. Where possible I would like to see the building incorporated in the new construction if feasible. A good example of this having been accomplished is the Ratcliff Florist.
8) A goal of the city is to increase affordable housing. In some instances, however, the City Council is asked to approve rezoning requests for low-income apartments, even when an area plan says single-family homes should be built on a site. Should the council follow the area plan recommendations or approve multi-family projects to increase affordability?
Our current rezoning guidelines are outdated. They are being reviewed for updating. We are short about 17,000 workforce/affordable housing units. This needs to be addressed going forward.
9) Should the city change its guidelines for offering Business Investment Grants for companies considering expanding or relocating to Charlotte?
I am not a big proponent of incentives. We need to sell our city on what all it has to offer that makes it an attractive and viable place to move a company. If incentives are absolutely necessary we need to be sure that this money is spent wisely and the company is committed to remaining in Charlotte and that we are receiving the necessary return on investment.
10) What makes you the best candidate?
I will listen to and represent all of the residents in District 7. I will be responsive to your concerns. I am for inclusion and representation of all. I will fight for my constituents and never take their trust in me for granted.
11) What else should voters know about you?
I was one of150 member citizen’s committee which developed The Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan that was finalized in 2014. I support the seven principles outlined in The Livable Communities Plan and will utilize these principles in dealing with specific District 7 issues and overall City decisions.