"Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends." -Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine
I'm an unaffiliated local political watchdog, activist and commentator and I've worked with a wide variety of groups from across the political spectrum. My political philosophy is classical liberalism; whose main principles are individual rights, limited government and economic freedom. I moved from Atlanta in 2003 to make Asheville my home and I'd like to keep it that way. By and large, Asheville is a great place to live and work, but I do have some concerns about the quality of governance.
One of my key concerns is in the area of regulation. Over-regulation is strangling economic activity, business development and job creation. It increases the cost of living, lowers quality of life and severely limits land use options for property owners and employers. It leads to poverty, unemployment, high housing costs, urban flight, suburban sprawl and annexation, and it raises the misery index for everyone. And the greatest victims of over-regulation are the ambitious poor.
Another concern is with the growth of government. There are too many aspects of local government that are beyond its proper scope. We need to establish and maintain a more limited government. And we need to establish and maintain a greater degree of fiscal order.
Also, besides doing things right, we also need to do right things. Local government should be viewed as a prioritized hierarchy of functions. At the top of that scale is, first and foremost, protection of individual rights, including property rights, protections for public health and safety, and protection of political and economic freedom. This would involve law enforcement and the courts.
Next comes the provision of basic city services. This involves roads, parks and water systems. I recognize that we do have certain obligations to provide for basic city services authorized by state statute and the city's charter that we must fulfill.
Finally, there are wholly improper functions of local government, such as: funding perennially money-losing commercial operations like golf courses, street festivals and entertainment centers; funding select nonprofits, operating TV stations and doling out corporate welfare; and the funding of individual speech in the form of public art. We may or may not be able to do all of those things. However, only upon fully funding and realizing our top priorities should we then attend to the lesser priorities. And this should happen if, and only if, approved of through community consensus through a referendum process for capital projects and public works projects.
My agenda is simple: it is to help ensure that local government is proper, effective and efficient. It is to prioritize public safety, personal and economic freedom and to keep the peace. In short, my agenda is to let Asheville be Asheville.
Why am I running for city council?
Following all the workings of city government is daunting for the ordinary citizen. And that's what I am: an ordinary citizen of Asheville. It's not enough to attend weekly city council meetings. You have to attend regular committee meetings, commission meetings and community meetings. And you have to research and understand the issues and the backgrounds of a wide range of public policy matters. Then comes analysis and policy recommendations to communicate to lawmakers. It's really a full time job. So, I've decided to do just that: to make it my full time job by running for a seat on city council.
Why should people vote for Tim Peck?
The reason people should vote for Tim Peck is that I understand the proper role of government; which is to protect rights; not to neglect or violate them. On city council, I will always be an advocate for the protection of individual rights; and that includes property rights, personal safety and economic freedom.
I am always on the lookout for excessive government, unnecessary political control and bureaucratic red tape – whether it is in the form of enormous taxation, onerous regulation or undue constraint on economic development and the free exercise of property rights.
If you want to start a business or improve a business, if you need a job or just a better job, if you're trying to improve your life and pursue your own happiness and you keep running into road blocks and wondering why, you'll want me sitting at the table in city hall. If you feel over-taxed, over-regulated, over-zoned, over-planned and under-paid, you'll want me sitting at the table in city hall. The only way to get me to that table is to vote for Tim Peck on election day.