What would you like voters to know about you?
I have a unique perspective, and traditional values, am a 4th generation Ashlandian, and the only wrestling state champion in the existence of Patrick Henry High School. I’m an achiever, persistent, non-judgmental, kind, considerate, compassionate, concise, and direct. I am also a creative open-minded problem solver who values and embraces collaborative efforts to confront and remedy in compromise the issues of the people, according to the people. I believe in finding ways for the people to remedy their own issues without the outside influence of the government.
I am formidable and resolute. As a town council member, I will not bend to the will of special interests if the will of the people, through open discussion, is not met. I am analytical and consider all sides of any issue, whether expressed or implied and base my decisions upon rational, factual analysis, not pressure. I’m willing and able to admit when I am wrong or fall short. I do not believe in any way that I have all the answers. It is We the People, not I the man. I am gracious and thankful for this existence and my experiences in it. I have a positive attitude – WE SUCCEED TOGETHER. I love Ashland.
What characteristics or principles are most important for a member of Ashland's Town Council to possess?
“Governments are instituted among the people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” To me, this demonstrates with whom the true power lies, the People. I believe that all those allowed the grace and responsibility of a leadership position should possess some base qualities. Those qualities include but are not limited to: Trustworthiness, Integrity, Compassion, Consideration, Decisiveness, Courage.
I also feel that those, in any town, city, state, nation, country, etc., who are given the responsibility of making decisions that affect the lives of others, may have a variety of characteristics and principles. I would imagine that it is based on the scenario. As far as the exact characteristics and principles are concerned, I believe that it is up to the people to decide if the people are allowed to make that decision. Thank goodness we live in a country where that is mostly true. Overall, I do believe that those in the positions to make the decisions, should not be homogenous (the same). I believe the council should be a representation that covers the variety of those in the township to some level. In this way, those who feel and/or are underrepresented will be more willing to come forward and express their ideas/issues so that we can move forward together in an agreed consensus.
What is the biggest issue facing the Town of Ashland, and how might you suggest the community/Town address it?
This is an interesting question because overall, I feel that this town is a wonderful place to live. I am so grateful to have been reared here from childhood. The Center of the Universe and the sacrifices/ allowances of my mother, former councilwoman Terri Winston Abri (2008 – 2012), have provided the foundation of who I am.
If I had to narrow down a specific “biggest issue” from my perspective, it seems that the will of a small group or “click” of individuals make decisions that benefit or are directed towards the few versus the people en masse. I also understand that it is impossible to always please everyone. I would imagine this may be addressed by getting more people involved in the issues. Not just the issues that may affect their specific area. It would be nice to have some type of inter-community activities or meetings, other than parties and festivals. I believe this may help to bring the people together.
What three words would you use to describe Ashland?
This is Paradise.
Why do you want to serve in public office?
I believe in the potential of possibility and the people of Ashland. I believe that it is possible for all who are willing to put in the effort and sacrifice to succeed, given the proper motivation and information, will succeed. I believe that we are living in a very pivotal time and the decisions we make now will echo in eternity. I believe that it is necessary to have those who are in a position of responsibility at the behest of the people, to be capable of adaptable decisive discernment. To understand their position of service to the people, not power over the people.
I love Ashland, and I just want to do my best to ensure that all those who have made this their home and are blessed to partake in just a piece of our experience here in paradise are welcome and understand our values and depth of community. It doesn’t matter the challenges we face as long as we face them together.